Ford Makes Billion-Dollar Investment in Self-Driving Vehicles
During the next five years, Ford wants to invest US$1 billion in Argo AI. Founded by former Google and Uber managers, the Pittsburgh-based start-up specialises in artificial intelligence and robotics. Ford will be the majority stakeholder in Argo AI. However, Argo AI with its 200 employees is to operate with substantial independence.
The declared goal is to develop a software platform for self-driving vehicles that Ford intends to have on the streets by 2021. Argo AI will work closely with Ford to strengthen the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles. In the future, Argo AI could license its technology to other market participants. The companies hope to generate synergy effects from their collaboration. “This open collaboration is unlike any other partnership – allowing us to benefit from combining the speed of a start-up with Ford’s strengths in scaling technology, systems integration and vehicle design”, says Raj Nair, Ford Executive Vice President, Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer.
“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”, says Mark Fields, Ford President and Chief Executive Officer.