Published by Matthew Gustin
7 months ago
Again a startup for autonomous driving is caught by a large car group. This time, Ford grabs a company of former Google and Uber-experts.
In the running for the first fully self-propelled car, Ford put a billion dollars in the startup of a former Google developer.
The second-largest US car dealer will distribute the investment over the next five years, taking over the majority of the company Argo AI from Pittsburgh, which specializes in artificial intelligence. Ford plans to launch autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021, just like other automakers.
Ford announced on Friday that they wanted to use Argo to develop a new software platform for robotic trucks. This technology could then possibly be licensed to other companies. Argo was founded by Brian Salesky, who was responsible for the hardware of Google robotic cars, and a leading developer of software for autonomous driving at Uber, Peter Rander. The service agent developed his own robotic robot technology and joined the department of the University of Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, where Salesky and Rander once were.
While the big manufacturers are pushing up the pace in the development of self-propelled cars, top developers, who are self-employed, are buzzing. The Ford rival General Motors took over the startup Cruise for about $600 million last year. Over $680 million for the only few months old startup Otto, which developed technology for self-propelled trucks. Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer of Google’s robotic vehicle program, is now working on self-propelled cars at Uber.
Also the former head designer of the Google cars, Chris Urmson, and the former head of the Autopilot program at Tesla, Sterling Anderson, now want to elaborate in a startup own technology. However, they were sued by Tesla. At the same time, in addition to motorists and tech companies, industry suppliers also work on technology for autonomous vehicles.
Ford is working hard to get ahead in the race for the car of the future. To this end, SAIPS, a company specializing in the development of self-learning machines, was already bought from Israel and invested $75 million in Velodyne, a developer of laser radars.
In addition, Ford plans to double the number of employees in Silicon Valley by the end of 2017 to around 260. In addition, the Autoverse is also heavily based on electric and hybrid drives – by 2020, the development of 13 new models will be worth $4.5 billion. The share of such vehicles in the total offer is to rise from currently 13 to 40%.