British-founded start-up Voyage wins funding from Jaguar Land Rover for driverless retirement home shuttles
Voyage, the Silicon Valley self-driving car startup founded by a British entrepreneur, has raised $31m (£25m) including from Jaguar Land Rover as it prepares to launch a commercial, driverless taxi service.
The company, which currently operates self-driving cars as transport for residents of retirement communities in Florida and California, said it was preparing to remove the backup drivers from its vehicles and would be announcing a partnership with a car-maker to install its technology at the manufacturing stage.
Founder and chief executive Oliver Cameron said: “At 0-25mph we are going to be able to deploy commercial driverless services with no driver in the front seat.”
He said the service would operate on both public and private roads and would continue to focus on moving elderly people around retirement communities.
“The best form of the product is going to be autonomous ride-hailing. That’s what we’re going to deliver first and that’s what we believe we’re good at doing,” he said.
Mr Cameron declined to give a timeline for the changes but said they would happen “soon”.
Only one company, Google spin-off Waymo, has so far begun carrying non-employee passengers in commercial cars on public roads without a safety driver.
Voyage has raised a total of $52m, including from Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital fund InMotion Ventures. The cars move at a maximum speed of 25mph and are equipped with Lidar, radar and cameras to spot and avoid obstacles.
“The company has made some incredible hires which have been instrumental in enabling the development of Voyage’s state-of-the-art technology.
“We’re excited to continue working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage. They’ve shown us that they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality, sooner than anyone would have thought.”
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