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Wayve and University of Warwick partner for AI safety project

Wayve University of Warwick Image credit: Wayve

Autonomous vehicle startup Wayve is partnering with the University of Warwick on an AI self-driving safety project, underpinned by a £1.9m government grant.

Wayve and the University of Warwick’s “DriveSafeAI” partnership will investigate methodologies for AI in self-driving vehicles.

“At Wayve we know that confidence in our technology is crucial to commercialisation and widespread adoption of self-driving vehicles,” said Alex Kendall, CEO and co-founder of Wayve.

“Leveraging AI, we have the chance to bring the benefits of self-driving vehicles to everyone’s door. But first, securing trust in AI is paramount.”

The government set in motion £100m in safety research last year in an attempt to get full self-driving vehicles zooming on UK roads before 2025.

The project’s aims include self-driving vehicle safety methods, tools and datasets. Alongside this it will “create the evidence to underpin future AI regulation and policy”, Wayve said.

Professor Siddartha Khastgir, head of verification and validation at WMG, University of Warwick, said: “We truly believe the safety of this technology needs to be proven collaboratively and that future policy should have strong research foundations.”

Wayve, which was founded in 2017, is currently working on a trial with supermarket Asda to deliver groceries from one of its west London stores.

The autonomous vehicle company uses a combination of cameras and machine learning, eliminating the need to rely on maps and previously driven routes.

London-based Wayve has raised $258m (£204.4m), the bulk of which arrived in January last year via a $200m (£147m) round. It counts Microsoft, Virgin and Balderton Capital among its backers.