As the passenger vehicle industry matures, artificial intelligence is becoming the thing that will define the competition among the makers. Taking this into account, Ford has announced to make a huge investment of $1 billion in Argo AI over the next five years.
The reason because Ford is betting so much on a startup is that the company is looking to roll out a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021 and Argo AI will help develop the technology required for such cars. Ford might also license the self-driving technology to other companies as well.
Argo AI is an intelligence startup based in Pittsburgh. It was founded just last year by Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander; where Salesky is the CEO and Rander is the COO of the company. Both of the co-founders are not new to the industry; both were from the Robotics Institutes at the Carnegie Mellon University. Salesky led the hardware division of Waymo at Alphabet and Rander was one of the top engineers of Uber.
Many car manufacturers have already started to shift their focus to self-driven cars a long ago and it’s about time for Ford to take an initiative for the new technology. The autonomous vehicle will rely on a bunch of cameras and sensors for the software to learn skills preventing the vehicle from hitting into the walls, pedestrians and other cars.
Ford already has a team working on the software part, and it will now collaborate with the team at Argo AI for their expertise in robotics. Ford believes that this step will help it bring SAE Level 4 cars on the road within the scheduled time. With this investment of a billion dollars, Ford will become a majority stakeholder in Argo AI and the two founders will hold the remaining portion along with a few others.