Ford Invests $1B in Artificial Intelligence Company

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Feb. 13, 2017—Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion during the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driver system for the automaker’s autonomous vehicle coming in 2021, the year Ford targets selling fully autonomous vehicles.

Founded by former Google and Uber leaders, the robotics and artificial intelligence company is led by Argo AI founders Bryan Salesky, company CEO, and Peter Rander, company COO. Both are alumni of Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center and former leaders on the self-driving car teams of Google and Uber, respectively.

“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.”

The current team developing Ford’s virtual driver system will be combined with the robotics expertise of Argo AI. This partnership will work to deliver the virtual driver system for Ford’s self-driving vehicles.

Ford will continue to lead on development of its purpose-built autonomous vehicle hardware platform, as well as on systems integration, manufacturing, exterior and interior design and regulatory policy management.

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