Ford is working on making autonomous cars a reality by investing $1 billion in Argo AI, a company based in Pittsburgh and tied to Carnegie Mellon University. The investment will be made over five years and will allow employees equity in the company, with Ford being a majority stakeholder but giving the company “substantial independence.”
Ford will use Argo AI’s developments of artificial intelligence and machine learning and apply it to Ford self-driving cars, according to Argo AI’s CEO, Bryan Salesky. Salesky led self-driving hardware at Google in 2011 while working at the Carnegie Mellon University National Robotics Engineering Center.
Argo AI hopes to achieve full autonomy by 2021, and Ford’s sizeable long-term investment will help the small company afford the expenses of taking on such a large, challenging project. Other members of the Argo team were also development leaders at Google, CMU, and Uber before leaving to join Salesky’s team.
Ford will continue to lead on its autonomous vehicle hardware platform and on systems integration, manufacturing, design, and policy management. The autonomous team will join with Argo in software development in the hopes of making self-driving cars more commercial.
If you’re interested in Ford’s developments and future vehicles, we’re happy to give you the rundown at Sanderson Ford!