Argo AI Gets Picked Up by Ford for $1B

In the News
February 16, 2017

Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driver system for its autonomous vehicles due in 2021 — and for potential license to other companies.

Argo AI is bringing together some of the most experienced roboticists and engineers working on self-driving cars from inside and outside of Ford.

The team of robotics and AI experts is led by Argo AI founders Bryan Salesky, company CEO, and Peter Rander, chief operating officer.

Both are alumni of the Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center and former leaders on the self-driving car teams of Google Inc. (now Alphabet Inc.) and Uber Technologies Inc., respectively.

“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 Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.

“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.”

The current team developing Ford’s virtual driver system — the machine-learning software that acts as the brain of autonomous vehicles — will be combined with the robotics talent and expertise of Argo AI.

The partnership will work to deliver the virtual driver system for Ford’s Level 4 self-driving vehicles (as rated by SAE International).

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 will join forces with Ford’s autonomous vehicle software development effort to strengthen the commercialization of self-driving vehicles.

Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale uniquely combine the benefits of...

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