Ford Invests In Tech Startup To Develop Self-Driving Car

12 February, 2017, 00:29 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Snowflakes are seen on the badge of a Ford car in Warsaw

Ford Motor Co. showed just how serious it is about the future of self-driving cars today, announcing plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in the secretive artificial intelligence startup Argo AI. Ford has a very good team, but Argo AI comes with the ability to put it under the leadership of two pioneers in the autonomous vehicle technology field, to work in a startup team environment and have the compensation package that will attract incremental talent. Fields compared the potential impact of Ford's plans to mass-produce autonomous vehicles to how Ford changed automotive manufacturing by introducing the moving assembly line in 1913.

Fields said he believed Argo AI will create significant value to FMC, which could make the technology available to other car-makers. By the end of this year, Argo expects to employ more than 200 people at the company's Pittsburgh headquarters and at sites near Detroit and Silicon Valley.

With this investment, the automaker will also become the largest shareholder in Argo AI. Ford even went so far as to suggest that the software it develops with Argo could be licensed to other companies.

Argo AI is based in Pittsburgh and was recently founded by Bryan Salesky, who headed hardware development at Waymo, Google's self-driving vehicle unit, and Peter Rander, who was an engineer at Uber's autonomous auto research project. Equity in the firm will be offered to tempt engineers away from other companies, the Verge reports.

Ford's Global Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Raj Nair, explained how Argo AI will be integrated into Ford's vehicle and technology development teams.

Twelve killed in Bali village landslide in Indonesia
The agency said in a statement Friday that the landslide in Bangli district was caused by sustained torrential rains. All the victims were Indonesian.

And Ford also made a series of investments a year ago to boost its self-driving program.

The cars that hit the streets in 2021 would be capable of SAE Level 4 autonomy, which means the virtual-driver software should be able to handle typical road conditions unassisted.

Ford will continue to lead the development, but Argo will join forces to strengthen the "commercialization" of the self-driving vehicles. And Ford hasn't acquired all of the startup, it's only the majority stockholder.

"This open collaboration is unlike any other partnership - allowing us to benefit from combining the speed of a startup with Ford's strengths in scaling technology, systems integration and vehicle design".

Recommended:

  • Assad dismisses Trump's plan to create 'safe zones' inside Syria

    Assad dismisses Trump's plan to create 'safe zones' inside Syria

    Millions of Syrian refugees are already being hosted in camps across nearby Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Trump's executive order attempting to bar refugee access to the United States was justified.
    Wales vs England: Eddie Jones gambles for Cardiff showdown

    Wales vs England: Eddie Jones gambles for Cardiff showdown

    It has been an ongoing topic of discussion leading into Saturday's Test with Wales openly stating they wanted the roof closed. They argue why should England have a say in the decision as it negates the impact of having home advantage.
    Facebook will use AI to crack down on discriminatory ads

    Facebook will use AI to crack down on discriminatory ads

    Additionally, it is testing an automated system that uses machine learning technology to identify potentially controversial ads. Those advertisers will then have to certify that they have read those policies and that their ads do not violate them.
  • Thousands celebrate Iranian Revolution, trampling USA  flag and chanting 'Death to America'

    Thousands celebrate Iranian Revolution, trampling USA flag and chanting 'Death to America'

    The speech came the day after a USA federal appeals court rejected the Trump administration's move to unblock the travel ban. Hundreds of thousands attended the annual rally in Tehran's Azadi Square where the president delivered a speech.
    World's heaviest woman lands in Mumbai for operation

    World's heaviest woman lands in Mumbai for operation

    Ahmed has been admitted to the care of bariatric surgeon Muffazal Lakdawala and his team, a spokesperson for Saifee Hospital said. On Friday, a special crane was used to bring Eman out of her home through a window, which had been broadened for this objective .
    FSU lands top-four seed in selection committee's preliminary bracket

    FSU lands top-four seed in selection committee's preliminary bracket

    However, Oregon's placement in San Jose and Arizona's assignment in Kansas City meant UCLA was blocked from those two regions. Kansas, No. 3 in the AP poll, was the top seed in the Midwest , Baylor was No. 1 in the South and Gonzaga topped the West .
  • Fed's Tarullo to Step Down as Top Regulator of Wall Street Banks

    Fed's Tarullo to Step Down as Top Regulator of Wall Street Banks

    He was also Chairman of the Financial Stability Board's Standing Committee on Supervisory and Regulatory Cooperation. Sensibly enacting financial reform so that it would be durably embedded in our financial system will be his legacy.
    Lego Batman Movie: Making Batman great again

    Lego Batman Movie: Making Batman great again

    The LEGO Batman Movie , also starring Mariah Carey , Michael Cera , Rosario Dawson and Ralph Fiennes , opens Friday, Feb. 10. What's interesting and surprising about director Chris McKay's film is the amount of time spent on Batman's emotions.
    Bulletproof Glass Wall to Be Installed on Eiffel Tower

    Bulletproof Glass Wall to Be Installed on Eiffel Tower

    A bullet-proof glass wall will be built around the base of the Eiffel Tower as protection against terrorist attacks. Jean-François Martins, the deputy mayor in charge of tourism, said the current metal fences are "disgraceful".
  • Italian manager coy on Arsenal link

    Italian manager coy on Arsenal link

    Anyway, I'll be back with more an hour before kick off when we should have confirmation of the team's official line-ups. He's the only manager to lead a Greek side to victory away on English soil in the Champions League/European Cup.
    Japanese scientists build tiny drone that pollinates like a bee

    Japanese scientists build tiny drone that pollinates like a bee

    For instance, in an orchard the drones need to know which flower to visit first to pick the pollen and then where to deliver it. Bees and other animal pollinators know it because they have been doing it for millions of years, and they are after food.
    Senate set to confirm DeVos as education secretary

    Senate set to confirm DeVos as education secretary

    Opponents flooded U.S. senators' offices with calls , and some North Carolina residents are demanding to know why U.S. Susan Collins of ME - decided they would vote against the confirmation of Trump's pick for education secretary.


Popular

Emergency spillway use likely at Oroville Dam in California
They also said the use of an emergency spillway or hillside to relieve the swollen reservoir may not be needed after all. Engineers don't know what caused the cave-in that is expected to keep growing until it reaches bedrock.

Clouds may obscure lunar eclipse in Louisville
Comet45P-also known as Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková will be making its closest approach to Earth on February 11. Eastern, according to a statement by Alan MacRobert and Kelly Beatty, senior editors at Sky & Telescope.

Sears could close more stores in effort to cut $1 billion
In preliminary results, the chain said same-store sales fell 10.3%, with decrease of 8.0% at Kmart and of 12.3% at Sears Domestic. Sears is already in the process of closing 150 stores, including the Sioux City K-Mart, by the end of March.

Erdoğan approves constitutional changes to boost his powers
Kurtulmus said the Turkish people, including those who will vote Yes or No, would express their opinion in the referendum. President Erdogan has steadily consolidated his control of Turkey's branches of government since his election in 2014.

France strikes down ban on consulting 'terrorist websites'
This type of explosive , known as TATP, was also used by ISIS terrorists in the 2016 Brussels attacks. Since the beginning of 2015, at least 230 people have been killed in jihadist attacks in France.