images of autonomous vehicles on an open road

Autonomous vehicles, a concept previously perceived to exist only in the world of science fiction, are very much starting to materialize in the world today. With the latest developments in microprocessor solutions and radar technology, it comes as no surprise that autonomous vehicles (popularly known as self-driving cars) are attainable today. Mobile technology has upgraded to a level where ultra-light devices can make decisions based on self-improving algorithms.

While this exciting revolution picks up pace, a prime factor responsible for the slow growth and acceptance of autonomous vehicles in the global scenario is the lack of trust in their safety. Examples of this are seen in recent reports about deadly accidents involving self-driving cars by Tesla and Uber. Let’s look at the country-wise statistics gotten from over a thousand consumers per country about their trust in autonomous vehicles over the years.

Data Source: Statista

Despite its setbacks, the autonomous vehicles industry continues to improve its approach and adjust inefficiencies in its operations. They are currently on the edge of an Earth-shattering development in the world today and are projected to be fully operational in just a few more years to come.

From a financial standpoint, the autonomous vehicles market was valued at US$ 54.23 billion in 2019. The sector is, however, expected to grow at a CAGR of 39.47% from 2019 to 2026 and reach about US$ 556.67 billion by 2026.

The autonomous vehicles industry cannot be discussed without mentioning some unicorns like Argo AI,, Waymo, BMW, Horizon Robotics, and to mention a few. This article, however, focuses on the early-stage startups with high-growth potential to become world-renowned leaders in the field of autonomous vehicles. The selection of these startups is based on market size, promising performance on several parameters, high-profile investors, and future growth prospects.


Wayve utilizes end-to-end deep learning systems to develop artificial intelligence able to carry out complex driving. They provide a data-driven, fully autonomous driving system at every layer, learning to drive. Their solutions scale across diverse urban environments. Wayve manages a fleet of electric vehicles fitted for autonomous operation and technology development.


Founders: Alex Kendall and Amar Shah

Date of Incorporation: 2017

Headquarters: London, England, United Kingdom

Funding Amount: US$ 43 million

Number of Investors: 13

Funding Status: Series A


Einride is a freight mobility startup that develops and designs technologies for transportation systems. The startup takes logistics in a new direction with intelligent, autonomous, and electric freight mobility solutions for carriers and shippers.


Founders: Filip Lilja, Linnea Kornehed and Rober Falck

Date of Incorporation: 2016

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

Funding Amount: US$ 42.3 million

Number of Investors: 8

Funding Status: Series Unknown

Kodiak Robotics

Kodiak Robotics is a startup that provides autonomous technology for long-haul trucking. They develop autonomous technology that carries freight forward, so individuals, partners, and the planet thrive. Navigating highway environments present widely different challenges than urban streets. Kodiak’s experienced team has created the industry’s most advanced technology stack purpose, built for long-haul trucks.


Founders: Don Burnette and Paz Eshel

Date of Incorporation: April 2018

Headquarters: Mountain View, California, United States

Funding Amount: US$ 40 million

Number of Investors: 4

Funding Status: Series A


RideOS is an autonomous vehicles startup seeking to accelerate the safe, global roll-out of next-generation transport. They develop cutting-edge transportation mapping and marketplace technologies. Today, its self-driving vehicle routing service and ETA engine are used by mobility service firms to provide on-demand transportation. RideOS consists of highly talented and accomplished engineers with experience working with top organizations like Apple, Uber, Tesla, and Google.


Founders: Chris Blumenberg and Justin Ho

Date of Incorporation: June 2017

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US$ 34 million

Number of Investors: 8

Funding Status: Series B


Bestmile is a fleet orchestration startup for mobility providers to deploy, manage and optimize human-driven vehicle fleets and AV. The cloud platform allows the optimization and intelligent operation of autonomous mobility services. Bestmile’s on-demand independent mobility solutions are being utilized daily in city centers on four continents on both open roads and pedestrian areas. They also provide a highly scalable cloud technology that leverages the full potential of autonomous vehicles to solve global mobility challenges. Bestmile aims to provide a mobility platform that empowers operators to support multi-modal, multi-service offerings in an accessible, safe, efficient, and lucrative way. They achieve this by integrating autonomous vehicles in the existing transportation system with conventional vehicles.


Founders: Anne Mellano and Raphael Gindrat

Date of Incorporation: January 28, 2014

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US$ 33.5 million

Number of Investors: 15

Funding Status: Series B


CARMERA is a startup that offers real-time 3D maps and navigation-critical information for autonomous vehicles, 3D scene reconstruction, and site analytics data for experts in construction, architecture, real estate, and other environment segments. Their geospatial data pipelines and machine vision systems extract rich texture and insight for autonomous vehicles and built environment data customers while making vehicles on city streets safer and adhering to privacy best practices. CARMERA seeks to automate cities by managing the world’s most robust real-time, street-level intelligence platform and make it accessible to everyone.


Founders: Justin Day and Ro Gupta

Date of Incorporation: 2015

Headquarters: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Funding Amount: US$ 27.1 million

Number of Investors: 9

Funding Status: Series B


Cognata offers a driving validation platform for the autonomous vehicles industry. The startup duplicates the sensor input of a vehicle in a reality grade city model to generate relevant edge cases and speeds up the progress and validation of an autonomous vehicle.


Founders: Amiad Solomon and Dan Atsmon

Date of Incorporation: June 2016

Headquarters: Rehovot HaMerkaz, Israel

Funding Amount: US$ 23.5 million

Number of Investors: 5

Funding Status: Series B


EasyMile is a high-tech startup specializing in software powering autonomous vehicles and the last mile smart mobility solutions. With its workforce of 70 passionate employees, EasyMile is a privately held startup that is currently growing organically at a sustained pace.


Founders: Gilbert Gagnaire

Date of Incorporation: 2014

Headquarters: Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees, France

Funding Amount: US$ 26.2 million

Number of Investors: 3

Funding Status: Series B

Civil Maps

The Civil Maps sensor-agnostic platform allows high-accuracy, low-cost 3D HD mapping and localization at scale. Their technology is used by auto OEMs, mapping organizations, and mobility providers to enhance autonomous driving solutions by leveraging localization technology. Civil Maps also allow vehicles to develop and use their own “mental model” of the world. They can design and utilize maps with the industry’s most cost-effective, scalable, and robust systems known today.


Founders: Anuj Gupta, Fabien Chraim, Scott Harvey and Sravan Puttagunta

Date of Incorporation: September 25, 2013

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, United States

Funding Amount: US$ 17.1 million

Number of Investors: 21

Funding Status: Series A


Brodmann17 is an autonomous vehicles startup that uses cutting-edge tech to develop a new architecture that empowers deep-learning applications to understand environments in real-time. The startup comprises researchers, technologists, and serial entrepreneurs. Their software framework obtains high performance and accuracy using existing hardware and only a fraction of the computer power on any processor.


Founders: Adi Pinhas, Amir Alush and Assaf Mushinsky

Date of Incorporation: November 9, 2016

Headquarters: Tel Aviv, Israel

Funding Amount: US$ 15.2 million

Number of Investors: 7

Funding Status: Series A

For more extensive analysis and Market Intelligence reports feel free to approach us or visit our website: Venture Capital Market Intelligence Reports | VCBay.

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Stephen conducts business research and writes about the startup ecosystem on VCBay. He is a 3rd-year Business administration student from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, specializing in all things business and technology.



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