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Volkswagen, Ford join on self-driving cars

Photo: Argo AI

Photo: Argo AI

In July, Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co. provided updates on their development alliance announced in January.

The automakers plan to collaborate on autonomous vehicles, among other programs. Together, they are investing $2.6 billion in Pittsburgh startup Argo AI, which is developing a self-driving technology platform. Ford first invested in Argo two years ago.

The investment includes the resources of VW’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving Group (AID), valued at $1.6 billion. AID will become Argo AI’s European operation.

Volkswagen and Ford hope to achieve a self-driving platform that can be scaled comparatively quickly. Argo AI’s objectives are to

  • build for scale.
  • architect the software to be production quality.
  • have automotive-grade sensors and computers.
  • fully integrate their product with OEMs and automakers.

A benefit to having the Argo AI system on more vehicles means the AI will obtain data through daily operation, enabling it to grow smarter and better.

Argo AI has successfully tested its driverless vehicles in five U.S. cities: Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Detroit, Miami and Washington, D.C.

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