Ford invests $1bn in Argo to develop self-driving software

Five year investment period with AI start-up Argo will lead up to 2021 - the date Ford has set for the launch of its self-driving car

Ford autonomous

Ford has announced plans to invest $1 billion into an artificial intelligence start-up called Argo AI, as the company accelerates development of fully autonomous cars.

The $1 billion investment will be seeded over a five-year period, with the marque planning to launch a vehicle capable of driving itself completely by 2021. 

Self-driving cars: Everything you need to know

Founded by former Google and Uber engineers, who were working on self-driving projects at those companies, Argo AI will be tasked with developing the software platform for Ford’s production self-driving system. Ford engineers are to be placed within the start-up firm.

The technology which will be created by the collaboration may not be limited to just Ford vehicles either – the manufacturer says it could be licenced to others in the future as well. 

Opinion: Ford's smart move is focusing on cars and mobility solutions

It’s the latest move in Ford’s push to become more than just a car company – CEO Mark Fields has regularly touted that Ford is now a “mobility” company too, and has ambitions to do more than just sell cars. 

Last year, the company revealed that its high volume self-driving car touted for launch in 2021 could be used to operate an automated taxi service, with no drivers and no human controls.

Will Ford crack the self-driving car formula by 2021? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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