Ford invests $1bn in Argo AI for autonomous driving
Founded by former Google and Uber leaders, Argo AI will include roboticists and engineers from inside and outside of Ford
Ford Motor Company has revealed it is investing $1bn over the next five years in artificial intelligence company, Argo AI, to create a virtual driver system.
The Argo AI system, which will be for Ford's SAE level 4 self-driving vehicles to be released in 2021, will be led by founders Bryan Salesky, company CEO, and Peter Rander, company COO who are both alumni of Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center and former leaders of the self-driving car teams at Google and Uber.
The current team developing the machine-learning software that's acts as the brain of autonomous vehicles are combined with Ford roboticists and engineers
Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO, said: "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.
"As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in 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."
Also complementing the relationship will be Ford Smart Mobility LLC, which will lead on the commercialisation strategy for Ford's self-driving vehicles. This includes choices for using autonomous vehicles to move goods and people, such as ride sharing, ride hailing or package delivery fleets.
By the end of this year, Argo AI expects to have more than 200 team members, based in the company's Pittsburgh headquarters and at major sites in Southeastern Michigan and the Bay Area of California.