Ford reveals plans to invest $1 Billion in Argo Al for autonomous vehicles

Ford reveals plans to invest $1 Billion in Argo Al for autonomous vehicles New Ford
author image Nikhil Puthran
Sunday 12 February 2017, 15:48 PM

American automaker Ford has been planning in introducing self-driving cars for commercial ride sharing fleets by 2021. In efforts to make this dream a reality, the automaker will invest $1 billion over next five years in tech startup company Argo Al, which will help the automaker build a virtual driver system. Once successful, the technology might be licensed to other companies as well.

Argo Al, founded by former executives from self-diving teams at Uber and Google, focusses on artificial intelligence and robotics. Their expertise will help Ford introduce fully autonomous vehicles by 2021. Ford Chief Executive Officer, Mark Fields was quoted as saying, “With Argo AI's agility and Ford's scale we're combining the benefits of a technology start up with the experience and discipline we have at Ford.” Last year, ford invested around $75 million to buy minority stake in Velodyne, a manufacturer of laser-based lidar sensing systems for self-driving cars.

Ford’s efforts are likely to yield positive results as most automakers around the globe are working towards developing electric and self-driving cars. This will help the American automaker follow the lines of Toyota Motor Corp’s $1 billion investment over five years to create its own robotics and artificial intelligence research division. General Motors also invested $500 million to buy a 9-percent stake in San Francisco-based ride services firm Lyft, a competitor to Uber. Additionally, GM has also acquired Silicon Valley based self-driving startup Cruise Automation.

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