Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG today announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the US and Europe.
Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett and Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky announced Volkswagen is joining Ford in investing in Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle technology platform company.
Working together with Ford and Volkswagen, Argo AI’s self-driving system (SDS) is the first with commercial deployment plans for Europe and the US. In addition, being able to tap into both automakers’ global reach, Argo AI’s platform has the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology to date. Volkswagen and Ford independently will integrate Argo AI’s SDS into purpose-built vehicles to support the distinct people and goods movement initiatives of both companies.
Argo AI’s focus remains on delivering an SAE Level 4-capable SDS to be applied for ride sharing and goods delivery services in dense urban areas. Ford and Volkswagen will have an equal stake in Argo AI, and combined, Volkswagen and Ford will own a substantial majority. The remainder will be used as an incentive pool for Argo AI employees. The full transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
“While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach,” said Hackett. “Unlocking the synergies across a range of areas allows us to showcase the power of our global alliance in this era of smart vehicles for a smart world.”
Company leaders also announced Ford will become the first additional automaker to use Volkswagen’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit, or MEB, to deliver a high-volume zero-emission vehicle in Europe starting in 2023.
This article courtesy of Russell Thrall III, publisher CollisionWeek. Check out their website at: www.collisionweek.com.