Ford invests in Argo AI for autonomous vehicles

Ford will invest $1bn over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence startup founded by former Google and Uber leaders, for its autonomous vehicles

Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale will combine the benefits of a technology startup with the experience and discipline of the automaker’s autonomous vehicle development programme.
Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale will combine the benefits of a technology startup with the experience and discipline of the automaker’s autonomous vehicle development programme.

Ford will invest $1bn over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence software and robotics startup founded by former Google and Uber leaders, to advance its autonomous vehicles.

Argo AI will involve roboticists and engineers from inside and outside of Ford working to develop a new virtual driver system – the machine-learning software that acts as the brain of autonomous vehicles – for Ford’s fully autonomous vehicle coming in 2021.

“The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and autonomous vehicles will have as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford.

“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future.”

Together, Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale will combine the benefits of a technology startup with the experience and discipline of the automaker’s autonomous vehicle development programme.

Ford will continue to lead on development of its purpose-built autonomous vehicle hardware platform, as well as on systems integration, manufacturing, exterior and interior design, and regulatory policy management.

Argo AI is led by Bryan Salesky, as CEO, and Peter Rander, as COO. Both are alumni of Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Centre and former leaders of the self-driving car teams of Google and Uber, respectively.

“We are at an inflection point in using artificial intelligence in a wide range of applications, and the successful deployment of self-driving cars will fundamentally change how people and goods move,” said Salesky.

“We are energized by Ford’s commitment and vision for the future of mobility, and we believe this partnership will enable self-driving cars to be commercialized and deployed at scale to extend affordable mobility to all.”

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