British AI company Wayve expands global presence by opening North American hub

Founded in the UK in 2017, Wayve is a home-grown British success story. Photo credit: Wayve

UK AI company Wayve, the leading developer of Embodied AI for self-driving, has expanded its global presence with the opening of a new AI hub in Vancouver.

Founded in the UK in 2017, Wayve is a home-grown British success story and the expansion signifies a key moment in Wayve’s growth as a global AI leader and underpins its commitment to expanding its research and development operations across the globe.

With Vancouver boasting the highest technology talent market growth across the U.S. and Canada, surpassing even tech hubs such as San Francisco, it is an ideal location for Wayve’s next office.

The city’s renowned educational institutions, thriving startup ecosystem, and presence of international tech companies make it a prime choice for Wayve. The vibrant technology scene in Vancouver has fostered a diverse talent pool capable of driving new breakthroughs in AI with global impact. With this new office, Wayve plans to assemble a dynamic team dedicated to advancing Embodied AI for self-driving technology.

The Vancouver team will focus on scientific discovery, led by acclaimed AI expert and Wayve Chief Scientist Dr. Jamie Shotton and Prof. Yasutaka Furukawa, a world-renowned specialist in computer vision and machine learning who has joined Wayve as a Principal Scientist, marking the company’s first hire in Vancouver.

Dr. Jamie Shotton, Chief Scientist at Wayve, says: 

“Vancouver is fast becoming a leading tech hub. I’m thrilled to expand our team in such an inspiring environment and be part of Canada’s vibrant AI ecosystem. At Wayve, research plays a fundamental role, allowing us to push the boundaries of what’s possible and positively impact society. Our goal is to unlock the significant safety, economic, and environmental benefits of self-driving through scientific innovation.”

Last month (May 2024) Wayve announced a $1.05 billion investment to develop the next generation of AI-powered self-driving vehicles marking the biggest investment in a UK AI company in history.

Backed by SoftBank Group, NVIDIA and Microsoft, Wayve will use this investment to develop and launch the first “embodied AI” technology for self-driving vehicles.

Embodied AI will enable self-driving (otherwise known as automated) vehicles to learn from and interact with a real-world environment, including the ability to navigate and learn from situations that do not follow strict patterns or rules, such as unexpected actions by drivers or pedestrians – going far beyond the capabilities of existing AV technology.

As the self-driving vehicle industry grows in the UK, it is expected to be worth £42 billion and create 38,000 more skilled jobs by 2035. The AI sector also already employs more than 50,000 people in the UK and contributes more than £3.7 billion to our economy every year. By 2035, our AI market is forecast to grow to over $1 trillion.

Founded in the UK in 2017, Wayve is a home-grown British success story and a testament to the UK’s global leadership in creating the economic and regulatory conditions for start-ups in the AI and self-driving vehicle industries to grow and thrive. Find out more about the company here.


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