“The approaches today, mostly by the trillion-dollar technology organisations you see in North America, revolve around an approach that is based on high definition maps, hand-coded rules, and complex sensor systems that tell the car how to drive,” he said.
“We’ve put together a system that learns how to drive with data. [It] can generalise to a new city it’s never seen before. That was a real eye-opening moment and an industry first.”
Wayve had been able to poach staff from Waymo, Mr Kendall added. “They recognise that that approach is stalling and that our approach is going to overcome things that are holding back the industry.”
The funding round was led by Silicon Valley investor Eclipse Ventures, with others including US backer D1 Capital and London-based Balderton Capital.
Sir Richard invested in a personal capacity alongside his Virgin Group.
Microsoft, which also invested, is used by the company for cloud computing. Ocado invested £10m in the company last year.