Waymo says it has completed an investment round of US$2.5bn, with investors including Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research Company and Magna International. The company says it will use this latest investment to continue advancing its Waymo Driver system and grow its development team.
With tens of millions of miles driven on public roads across 25 US cities and tens of billions of miles driven in simulation, the company claims its experience has shown the opportunities offered by its self-driving technology, with projects underway to develop applications from personal mobility to last-mile delivery and freight transport.
For example, through its Waymo Via delivery business unit, it has worked with freight partners, including J.B. Hunt, to efficiently move freight cross-country using a fleet of Class 8 trucks. It has also undertaken local deliveries for UPS and AutoNation.
Waymo co-CEO Tekedra Mawakana commented, “Experience has taught us so much, and we agree with those experts who say there’s no greater challenge in artificial intelligence than building and deploying fully autonomous technology at scale. But we love a challenge and – thanks to the unmatched talent of our team – the Waymo Driver is already serving thousands of Waymo One riders as they get to work, shop for groceries, bring their kids to school or just experience the joy of a ride with no human behind the wheel. Our mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going, and we’re grateful to our investors for believing in this mission, in our technology and in us.”