This week, the Volkswagen group has just finalized its investment of 2.6 billion dollars in the startup Argo AI based in Pittsburgh. This company stood out in 2017 when Ford injected $ 1 billion into its cases.
As a result, Argo now has the support of two giants in the sector with this new investment from Volkswagen. In addition, the Autonomous Intelligent Driving subsidiary of the German manufacturer for the development of autonomous driving will become Argo AI, and the headquarters of this subsidiary in Munich will be the new headquarters of Argo in Europe.
With this agreement, Argo will now have 1,000 employees, including offices in Detroit, Palo Alto and Cranbury. The company's fleet of electric vehicles is currently being tested on the streets of Austin, Miami, and Washington DC. In addition, the system used to make an autonomous vehicle developed by Argo AI is also the one used by Ford.
John Lawler, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, said in a blog post: "Building a safe, scalable and reliable self-driving service is not an easy task, however. Nor is it an easy task. " Either way, this is Ford’s next goal with a budget of $ 4 billion to complete this quest.
While Argo's board of directors now consists of two VW seats, two Ford seats and three Argo seats, John Lawler says that Ford "Will remain independent and very competitive in setting up its own autonomous driving service". This means that Volkswagen and Ford will not collaborate around the development of the technology developed by Argo AI. These two giants will continue to evolve on their own without mutual assistance.
For most manufacturers around the world, autonomous vehicles are the next big turning point.