Argo AI’s self-driving system attracts new high-level investment
Autonomous Vehicle Technology announces 2020 ACES Award Winner in Autonomy | Systems category
This year Ford and Volkswagen announced expansion of their global alliance to include electric vehicles (EVs) and autonomous vehicles (AVs) to position both companies to better serve customers and improve their competitiveness and cost/capital efficiencies. A major component of the AV news was VW joining Ford in investing in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle technology platform company. Specifically, VW will invest $2.6 billion in Argo AI, with $1 billion in funding and the other $1.6 billion by “contributing” its Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company. The transaction values Argo AI at more than $7 billion. The Argo AI system looks set to be a major player in the self-driving arena, and the Ford/VW venture will provide great synergies, providing VW access to the Argo/Ford AV technology and robo-taxi/urban mobility for economies of scale. Argo AI says its self-driving system (SDS) is the first with commercial deployment plans for Europe and the U.S., and the automakers’ global reach means the platform has the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology to date. Both automakers see significant potential and profitable growth by tapping new business areas tied to autonomous technology and delivering fully integrated self-driving vehicles that can be manufactured at scale for safe, reliable, and durable deployment. They intend to integrate the SDS into vehicles to support people and goods movement, which aligns with Argo AI’s focus on delivering a SAE Level 4-capable SDS for ridesharing and goods delivery services in dense urban areas.
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