Toronto based Waabi launches AI powered self driving system for trucking

Toronto-based Waabi says it is launching its self-driving system in the real world as it looks to push trucking towards a more autonomous future.

Company founder and chief executive Raquel Urtasun says the system, called the Waabi Driver, combines AI-driven navigation with an array of sensors including laser-based lidar, cameras and radars to help steer trucks.

Urtasun says one of the big advantages of the company’s self-driving system is the high-fidelity simulator Waabi built that can teach the autonomous driver many real-world scenarios before it rolls off the lot.

Other companies are also pushing forward in the space, including Gatik, which in October announced it had conducted fully driverless deliveries for Loblaw Companies Ltd.

Urtasun says trucks testing the Waabi system will have both a safety driver and engineer present, with initial road use focused in the United States.

Autonomous vehicle development has focused more intensely on safety after the world’s first death caused by an autonomous vehicle occurred in 2018, when an Uber test car struck and killed Tempe, Ariz. woman Elaine Herzberg.