Ford and Volkswagen stop start-up developing autonomous driving technology

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Ford and Volkswagen have decided to stop investing in Argo AI, a start-up developing artificial intelligence for autonomous vehicles. The car companies want to turn to external companies instead of developing the self-driving technology themselves.

Ford broke the news during the presentation of his quarterly results. In it, the company states that it initially thought that autonomous vehicles would be available to a wide public by 2021. Now the company wants to invest in level 2 and level 3 autonomy of autonomous driving. Level 2 autonomy includes driving assistance inside and outside built-up areas and on the highway. At level 3 autonomy, a vehicle can take over most of the driving when the car is on the highway.

The company still has plans to produce cars with level 4 autonomous driving in the future. These are vehicles that can drive themselves under almost all conditions. Exceptions are situations such as extreme weather conditions. But Ford argues that this technology is far from ready for widespread use. The company also believes that it does not need to develop this technology itself. Ford will therefore look to other companies for this.

Volkswagen would also withdraw from the collaboration. The German carmaker would also be looking for autonomous driving technology that can be implemented in the shorter term, while also taking cost into account. From now on, Volkswagen will cooperate with the German Bosch and the Chinese Horizon Robotics for its ambitions with regard to autonomous vehicles.

Former employees of Google and Uber founded Argo in 2017 to develop artificial intelligence for self-driving cars. Ford invested $1 billion in the start-up that year; that amount would now have risen to 2.7 billion dollars. The American car manufacturer wanted to make the technology that Argo AI had in the pipeline available to other car manufacturers under license. At the end of 2021, Volkswagen presented the self-driving ID.Buzz van. A variant of this would be the first car of the Volkswagen Group that would have a level 4 autonomy. Argo created the AI ​​technology to enable the level 4 autonomy.

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