Companies aiming to become world leaders in autonomous vehicles better step up a gear as the competition is only becoming fiercer. Not only have tech giants like Uber, Google and Apple launched self-driving car projects of their own but more traditional car companies like Tata Motors and Ford are also making a bid for a piece of the market. At the same time a number of startups are also angling for a seat at the table, with Cambridge-based FiveAI being the latest to throw its hat into the ring after securing £26.8m in funding.
The two-year old company has just announced the completion of a £14m series A round backed by Lakestar Capital, a VC firm that has previously backed companies like Facebook, Spotify and Skype. Additionally, FiveAI has received £12.8m from StreetWise, a project it’s working on in conjunction with Transport for London, the Transport Research Laboratory, Oxford University, Direct Line and others. StreetWise has the goal of bringing self-driving cars to the streets of London and aims to start doing test runs in the UK by 2019.
With VCs splashing out money on startups like FiveAI and the government having made it a priority for Britain to become a world leader in autonomous vehicles, it’s safe to say that the movement to get self-driving cars onto our streets is gaining speed.