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Ford is investing $1billion in AI startup

Posted: 13 February 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Car giant Ford has announced that it is investing $1billion in artificial intelligence startup Argo.

The Pittsburgh-based AI startup will develop a virtual driver system for the automotive company’s autonomous vehicles.

Ford will be investing in Argo over the next five years with the aim of releasing a fully autonomous vehicle in 2021. Argo AI was founded by former Google and Uber self-driving car team members, CEO Brian Salesky and COO Peter Rander.

“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 President and CEO Mark Fields.

“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future.”

By the end of this year, Argo AI expects to have over 200 team members, based in the company’s headquarters and at sites in Southeastern Michigan and the Bay Area of California.

Argo AI’s initial focus will be to support Ford’s autonomous vehicle development and production. In the future, Argo AI could license its technology to other companies and sectors.

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