Ford Acquires Artificial Intelligence Start-Up
Ford Motor Company has acquired a majority ownership of artificial intelligence start-up Argo AI. According to The Wall Street Journal, the auto giant plans to invest $1 billion in Argo AI throughout the next five years to support its own self-driving car technology goals.
Although Argo AI now is a Ford subsidiary, founders Bryan Salesky, formerly of Alphabet, and Peter Rander, formerly of Uber Technologies, will maintain their equity in the months-old business as well. The acquisition was structured in such a way to keep Argo AI a nimble start-up that gives Ford exclusive access to its innovations.
Ford, along with other automakers, plans to invest heavily in new technologies this year to help expand its portfolio from traditional cars and trucks. “We think automation is going to define the automobile in the next decade,” Ford Chief Executive Mark Fields told The Wall Street Journal. Ford hopes to release a self-driving vehicle in 2021.
Last year, General Motors spent $1 billion to acquire Cruise Automation in an effort to speed up its progress with self-driving technology. Toyota Motor Corporation also has announced plans to invest $1 billion in a Silicon Valley research center to explore autonomous driving and robotics.