Exponential View by Azeem Azhar
Exponential View by Azeem Azhar
🔮 Bringing autonomous cars to the roads, with Alex Kendall, co-founder & CEO of Wayve

🔮 Bringing autonomous cars to the roads, with Alex Kendall, co-founder & CEO of Wayve

A deep dive into AI-driven, autonomous vehicles.

As I shared yesterday, I met up with the co-founder and CEO of Wayve, Alex Kendall, to test out Wayve’s self-driving car on some of the toughest streets of London — and to sit down for a longer chat about the technology and the company. His team is breaking some impressive ground — just six months ago, they released a 9-billion parameter world model that uses video, text, and action inputs to train the systems for on-road behaviours. Their ArXiv paper is available here.

After our drive, which you can watch below, we settled in Alex’s office and recorded the conversation I’m sharing today. As always, paying members get access to all 50 minutes of our discussion + the transcript.

In this podcast, we cover:

  •  🧠 Alex’s journey from being a researcher to pioneering AI in transportation, inspired by groundbreaking AI achievements in other fields.

  •  🤖 The shift from traditional rule-based AI systems to dynamic, data-driven, end-to-end learning models in autonomous vehicles, mirroring trends seen in LLMs like GPT-3.

  •  🌐 “Embodied AI” and its role in shaping future everyday assistance, beyond just digital interactions.

  • 🚧 Implementing AI in complex, unstructured environments like road traffic, and why Wayve’s approach using deep learning is paving a new path.

  •  📈 The significance of scaling laws in AI development, and how they enable autonomous vehicles to handle edge cases and improve performance exponentially.

  • 🌍 Alex’s perspective on Level 5 automation (fully autonomous vehicles) and why that might be a distraction to the opportunity.

  • 💼 The evolving business models in the automotive industry, shifting towards AI integration and subscription-based services.

This conversation isn’t just a technical deep dive – it’s a glimpse into the future of travel and urban living, shaped by AI.

Exponential View via DALL-E


Azeem Azhar1: [00:00:00] Alex, we're now back in your office. And I have to say, I am still buzzing and reflecting on that amazing experience. That 15-20 minute drive we did around some pretty tough streets in London in one of your vehicles powered by your AI system. Is that the normal experience?

Alex Kendall: It's magic. Every time I try and get out in the car every week and stepping out of it, every time you go for a drive, you see something new, whether it's different weather, different road layouts, weird, some crazy, interesting scenarios like today. And it's always a treat to see how the AI learns and grows over time. And when you see a new behaviour for the first time or something like that, I mean, most people have had their ChatGPT moment with AI, but for me getting in a physical car and seeing it interact in the real world, there's nothing like that. It's really special.

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Exponential View by Azeem Azhar
Exponential View by Azeem Azhar
Weekly deep dives on AI and exponential technologies from a global expert featured in The Economist, WSJ and Financial Times. Join investors, C-suite execs and global leaders and change how you think about the future.