Ford To Invest $1 Billion In Argo AI For Self-Driving Cars

By Monica U Santos , Feb 13, 2017 01:50 AM EST

Today, Ford announced that it will invest a total of $1 billion in Argo artificial intelligence. An Argo AI is a startup to help develop the automaker’s self-driving vehicles, which are scheduled to launch on 2021. The main responsibility of Argo AI in the autonomous car of Ford will be the development of a virtual driver system.

Ford Will Invest $1 Billion In Argo AI For Self-Driving Cars

According to Wired, Ford announced it’s plan on investing $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI. It is a months-old startup run by Carnegie Mellon roboticists including the engineers who really know their artificial intelligence stuff. With this strategy, Ford tacitly admits it lacks the knowledge to deliver great self-driving cars on the road by 2021.

“With Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale, we’re combining the benefits of a technology startup with the experience and discipline we have at Ford,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields. Using just simple words, Ford is saying to Argo "you’re great at algorithms, we’re great at cars. Let’s hang out." But Ford does not want to call this emerging as an acquisition, instead, Argo AI will be consolidated into Ford's existing robotics unit, doing work in Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon, Michigan, and Silicon Valley.

Responsibilities Of Ford And AI For Virtual Driver System

The combined development team of Ford and Argo AI will be both charged with creating SAE level 4 self-driving cars. However, according to MotorTrend, Ford will continue to be in charge of the development of vehicle platforms, systems integration, both exterior and interior designs, manufacturing and managing the regulatory policies related to the self-driving cars.

Included in the investment is Ford's goal to become a majority stakeholder in the Argo AI but will still remain as an independent form from the automaker. Ford’s project in making self-driving cars will be the Argo AI’s key initial focus but in the latter future, the automaker noted that the startup could also license its self-driving technologies to other companies. “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,” Fields said.


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