VW invests in Ford start-up
Author: Mario Schmidtgen
2.6 billion US dollars for autonomous driving
The car manufacturers Ford and VW have joined forces: VW has invested 2.6 billion US dollars in the startup Argo AI, founded by Ford, which tests driverless cars. Ford shall receive 500 million US dollars of this amount. The US carmaker spent one billion US dollars on the start-up.
As part of the investment, VW intends to buy shares in the start-up within three years. In addition, Argo will receive VW’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) Company worth around 1.6 billion US dollars.
Thanks to the financial support of the Wolfsburg Group, Argo can be expanded into a globally active company and now has a value of 7 billion US dollars. At its headquarters in Munich, the number of employees will be increased by 40 percent to 700. “This is a win-win situation,” said VW CEO Dr. Herbert Diess at the press conference. This collaboration unites the smartest people in the field of autonomous driving.
Argo AI has already developed products such as the virtual driver system and high-resolution cards that can use computer vision software. The merger will also enable Volkswagen to use these technologies and implement them in its own vehicles. Argo’s fleet already operates in several US cities, including Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Miami, Washington and Dearborn.