Ford has announced that it will be investing $1 billion in Argo AI, in order to develop a self driving system for use in vehicles. The investment will be made over the course of five years. Ford plans to use the system in its own autonomous vehicle, which it plans to unveil in 2021. It may also choose to license the technology to other companies.
Argo AI is based in Pittsburgh and lead by Bryan Salesky (CEO), and Peter Rander (COO). The two headed the self driving car teams at Google and Uber respectively. Argo AI will work with Ford’s own autonomous software development effort. Further, Ford will have a majority stake in Argo AI. “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.”
Self driving cars may be the next big thing in automobile technology with many car manufacturers, as well as tech companies said to be working on the technology. Google’s efforts are quite well known, and the company has also signed a deal with Chrysler to incorporate its self driving technology in Chrysler’s 2017 Pacifica Hybrid minivan. It was also reported that Uber was testing self-driving cabs in Pittsburgh last year.