Embark, a self-driving trucking startup, has announced that it has secured an amount of $15 million in Series A funding round. Previously called Varden Labs, Embark has successfully received state approval for the testing of its semi-autonomous vehicles on public roads in Nevada.
The round led by Data Collective, in participation with YC Continuity, Maven Ventures, and SV Angel. The capital raised would be used for expanding the engineering team by employing new talent and to add more trucks. The startup also partnered with heavy equipment manufacturer Peterbilt.
“The American Transportation Research Institute estimates there is currently a shortage of 100,000 truck drivers in the industry, which is poised to only get worse as baby boomer drivers — the bulk of the industry’s workforce — retire over the next decade,” co-founder and CEO Alex Rodrigues said in a statement. “Embark’s goal is to increase productivity per driver and prevent the shortage from becoming a crisis.”
Embark trucks are equipped with their own neural net-based deep learning approach to autonomous trucking. The Embark team consists of robotics experts from some of the leading technology companies having specialization in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and real-world deployment of advanced technology.