|Ford and Volkswagen are investing billions to Argo AI to advance their self-driving technology / Photo by Shuang Li via Shutterstock|
Ford has been making a lot of headway in the self-driving industry and this newest deal with Argo AI is just one of the steps they are taking to stay competitive. Argo AI, a self-driving startup focused on creating the software which would act as the central hub for self-driving cars, is getting more prominent with the amount of funding it’s receiving. Ford invested over $1 billion into this company almost two years ago to advance their technology, effectively making Ford a major investor in this company.
Ford hasn't been the only manufacturer with their sights set on the company. There have been reports that Volkswagen is in discussion with both Ford and Argo to add an additional $1 billion to this startup. These dual investments total to a very sizable sum that could lead to further advancement in the self-driving car industry and might be the edge they need to stay relevant in the market. This comes from the recent report by Intel corp and Strategy Analytics that stated that self-driving cars are expected to be a bigger part of the transportation industry by the mid-century, being worth more than $7 trillion. This is the reason Ford and Volkswagen are looking to match the $5 billion investment in this industry from Japan’s Softbank and Honda Motor Co.. Sherif Marakby, the current president of Ford’s autonomous vehicles unit, states, “The investment needed in autonomous cars is billions of dollars, we don’t believe one entity is going to be able to launch a successful fleet and services of self-driving cars around the whole world. It’s just too big for one company to do.” They have been hard at work, creating a diverse market for self driving, with tests to deliver products like dry cleaning, flowers and food. They have even started testing concepts with Domino’s Pizza Inc, Postmates Inc., and Walmart to make a centralized grocery car service.
Whether this deal comes to pass, Ford plans to roll out their self-driving cars by 2021.