Ford investing $1BN in AI company

Argo AI is a startup co-founded by engineers who previously had worked on Google and Uber’s autonomous car ventures.

The investment makes Ford the majority stakeholder in Argo AI and is a further attempt to realise their ambition of having autonomous vehicles on the road from 2021.

“The next decade will be defined by the automation of the automobile, and autonomous vehicles will have as significant an impact on society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago,” said Ford’s chief executive Mark Fields.

>See also: Ford to mass-produce driverless cars from 2021

Competition in the self-driving market is fierce, with players like Uber, Tesla, Ford and Google all realising the potential of the technology and its impact on society.

This massive investment from Ford is an attempt to move ahead of the pack.

Ford is hoping to combine “the robotics talent and expertise of Argo AI” with its “virtual driver system.”

The money will be received over five years and will help the startup to expand to over 200 employees by the end of this year.

>See also: Driverless vans could hit UK roads by next year

The move from the car giant was a necessary one, as a recent report has revealed that of the two autonomous vehicles currently licensed for testing in California, they only covered 590 miles in 2016.

Within those trials a human driver had to take control three times, twice to abort lane changes.

Meanwhile, in the same period BMW reported 638 miles and one disengagement of autonomous control, and Google 636,000 miles and 124 disengagements.

The race is very much on…

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...