26-Year-Old CEO Takes His Autonomous Truck Company Public in $5 Billion Deal

When Alex Rodrigues started his company Embark Trucks Inc., he couldn’t rent a car without age restrictions. Now 26, Rodrigues becomes one of the first, and youngest, heads of an autonomous-driving company to pitch public investors on the promise that vehicles will soon be able to drive themselves.

Embark started trading Thursday on the Nasdaq under the ticker EMBK. It wasn’t an especially warm reception. The shares fell as much as 7.3% in the first minute of trading.

Embark Trucks to go public via merger with SPAC Northern Genesis in $4.55 billion deal

Embark Trucks Inc., a maker of self-driving technology for the trucking industry, said Wednesday it is going public via a merger with special purpose acquisition corporation Norther Genesis Acquisition Corp. II NGAB, 0.71%, in a deal with a pro forma implied enterprise value of about $4.55 billion. “Over the last five years, Embark has operated America’s longest running road-testing program for self-driving trucks to refine the company’s sophisticated self-driving software — purpose-built to navigate Class 8 trucks on long-distance freight trips,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Self-Driving Startup Embark Raises $70 Million, Opens Freight Transfer Hubs For Robot Big Rigs

Embark Trucks, a self-driving tech firm created by two twenty-something Canadian computer scientists, just landed $70 million in new funding, its biggest investment round to date, and is opening the first cargo transfer hubs for its growing fleet of robotic semis.

 

The San Francisco-based startup is among a wave of companies including Alphabet’s Waymo, TuSimple, Starsky Robotics, Kodiak and Ike that see commercial opportunities to apply the same type of technology developed for autonomous robotaxis to long-haul trucks ferrying goods cross country. Three years after college friends (and Forbes 30 Under 30 alums) Alex Rodrigues, 23, and Brandon Moak, 24, founded Embark, the company has raised a total of $117 million, including the latest round. It operates 13 18-wheelers and has 70 employees.

Tesla loses key Autopilot engineer to self-driving truck start-up Embark

Zeljko Popovic, a leader within Tesla’s Autopilot team, is leaving for Embark, the autonomous trucking start-up in San Francisco, according to a person familiar with the move. Embark confirmed the hire.

The departure comes at a critical time, as Tesla is promising its electric vehicles will be capable of operating as “robotaxis” by the end of next year — which is to say, they’d be fully self-driving in normal conditions, without human intervention. Tesla also says it plans to start production of its long-awaited electric semi trucks by the end of 2020.

Self-driving truck policy takes a big step forward

Last week the Federal Government released an update to their self-driving policy known as Automated Vehicles (AV) 3.0. This update is especially significant because, for the first time, it includes rules that set out how to deploy self-driving trucks. We are very excited about this update — as a result of AV 3.0 self-driving trucks are now allowed to operate across more than 90% of the United States once they are demonstrated to be safe.

Self-driving truck startup Embark raises $15M, partners with Peterbilt

Self-driving trucking startup Embark  has raised $15 million in Series A financing, the company announced on Tuesday. Embark first broke cover back in February, when it revealed trucks equipped with its neural net-based deep learning approach to autonomous trucking. The startup’s also revealing a team-up with heavy equipment manufacturer Peterbilt today, which will help it roll out its new group of test trucks.