Wayve, a developer of Embodied AI for autonomous driving, has raised $1.05 billion (£837.9 million / €974.1 million) in Series C funding. The round was led by SoftBank Group, with contributions from new Wayve investor NVIDIA and existing investor Microsoft. Using the funds, the AV technology company will look to accelerate its mission to reimagine autonomous mobility through embodied intelligence.

Wayve positions Embodied AI as the next evolution of AI beyond Generative AI and LLMs. Integrating it into vehicles and robots, the company says, will lead to a shift in how machines interact with humans and learn from their behavior in real-world environments. For AVs, Wayve believes Embodied AI can help enhance their usability and safety, empowering them to confidently navigate situations that do not follow strict patterns or rules, such as unexpected actions by drivers, pedestrians, or environmental elements.

In providing its proprietary tools to OEMs and fleet owners, Wayve aims to help these customers generate valuable data assets that bridge the gap between raw data and enhanced driving capabilities. Its research on multimodal and generative models, called LINGO and GAIA, work similarly to support the advancement of AI in automotive – envisioning a future where AI supports features such as intuition, language-responsive interfaces, personalized driving styles, and co-piloting to enhance the automated driving experience.

Wayve’s hardware-agnostic, mapless solutions allow OEMs to efficiently upgrade software-centric cars to higher levels of driving automation as its AI models progress. In the future, the company will also focus on scaling its foundation models, advancing Embodied AI research and building its AV2.0 Platform with reliable simulation, measurement, and active learning tools for automotive applications. The funds raised from the latest round will also enable Wayve to expand operations and partnerships in new markets, building geographically diverse data assets and attracting global talent. As part of the final transaction, SoftBank has joined Wayve’s Board of Directors.