Raquel Urtasun’s Waabi Accelerates Towards 2025 Launch of Fully Driverless Trucks


Raquel Urtasun, founder and CEO of autonomous trucking startup Waabi, has been developing AI systems that can reason as a human would for the past two decades. After serving as the chief scientist at Uber ATG, Urtasun launched Waabi in 2021 with an “AI-first approach” to speed up the commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles.

Waabi’s AI system, which perceives the world as a human and reacts in real-time, is different from Tesla’s vision-first approach to self-driving, which uses imitation learning to learn how to drive by collecting and analyzing millions of videos of real-world driving situations. Instead, Waabi uses a closed-loop simulator called Waabi World to train its AI system, which has helped the company launch commercial pilots in Texas and reach its goal of launching fully driverless trucks by 2025.

Waabi has just closed on a $200 million Series B round, led by existing investors Uber and Khosla Ventures, with strong strategic investors including Nvidia, Volvo Group Venture Capital, and Porsche Automobil Holding SE. The round brings Waabi’s total funding to $283.5 million.

Rebecca Bellan
Rebecca Bellan
Rebecca covers transportation. She’s interested in all things micromobility, EVs, AVs, smart cities, AI, sustainability and more. Previously, she covered social media for Forbes.com, and her work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, i-D (Vice) and more. Rebecca studied journalism and history at Boston University.

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