The Mobility Company Known as Ford is Investing $1 Billion Into an Artificial Intelligence Startup

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
the mobility company known as ford is investing 1 billion into an artificial

Ford Motor Company intends to invest $1 billion into tech startup Argo AI over the next five years, giving the Blue Oval a majority stake in the company as it continues to reach for the goal of producing a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021.

The Pittsburgh-based Argo will help the Detroit automaker develop a “virtual driver system” for its proposed commercial ride-sharing fleets before moving on to retail vehicles. Ford even went so far as to suggest that the software it develops with Argo could be licensed to other companies.

While still officially an automaker, the Blue Oval really is going all in on its new identity as a mobility company and it isn’t afraid to remind everyone of all of the important work it feels that it is doing.

“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,” Ford CEO Mark Fields said in Friday’s official statement. “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.”

Argo was founded by Bryan Salesky, previously with Google, and Peter Rander, formerly of Uber. Ford says that the startup will have offices in southeastern Michigan, California, and Pittsburgh before the end of the year. It will also employ an additional 200 workers between those locations.

Last year, Ford developed a Smart Mobility subsidiary to invest in and help develop emerging mobility opportunities as it branches away from the traditional role of an automotive manufacturer. Since then, the company has increased its involvement in mobility experiments and commitment to connectivity tech, autonomous vehicles, consumer analytics, ride-sharing, and passenger vehicle alternatives — like bicycles or Ford’s bizarre Carr-E mobility disk.

[Image: Ford Motor Co]

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  • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Feb 10, 2017

    One billion down the drain. A stock buyback would have been smarter.

    • See 7 previous
    • Zip89123 Zip89123 on Feb 12, 2017

      @JimZ Just wanted to give you something to swear about JimZ.

  • Voyager Voyager on Feb 13, 2017

    Still... the biggest strides towards implementing self-driving can be made by the automaker itself. Why would you want a big, cumbersome self-driving car that will get you stuck in traffic, if the average ride consists of one-and-a-half person? Robotics should challenge to reinvent the car, instead of prolong shelf life of the sort of car we already know. Here's an idea...

  • Analoggrotto As we Tesla owners receive our life energy from the greatest son of the gods of all time, Elon Musk; His cherubs and His nephilim may remove whatever they wish from us for unto him we owe all for our superiority above all the rest of humanity.
  • Kcflyer Nice to see California giving NY some competition to be the worst run state in the union.
  • Wolfwagen I see my comment was deleted (BTW nice way to censor) so i will say it again:GTFO here with the pseudo "wealth distribution" BS. A crime is a crime is a crime.Its a slippery slope, what happens next, Jail a rich guy when he kills a pedestrian and let the poor guy who kills a pedestrian walk? What about if the poor guy is a crappy driver and has the record to prove it then what?Or we could go crazy and just institute the death penalty across the board for every driving infraction. That will make people better drivers or stop driving altogether which will make the greenies happy (damm it I just gave them an idea - SOB!!!)
  • Wolfwagen No. Bring back the J80 with an inline six and reduced electronics (i.e. no giant touch screen) and they will probably sell like hotcakes
  • David S. " test vehicles sometimes make sudden stops when uncertain about how to navigate traffic."??? Test vehicles are programmed by humans, HUMANS sometimes make sudden stops when uncertain about how to navigate traffic, Duh!!