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Self-driving car startup Argo AI closes after Ford’s loss

Self-driving car company Argo AI shutting down. In an income statement, Ford (a major investor in Argo AI) notes that the company is constrained and that it will hire engineers from the startup to scale and accelerate the development of Level 2 autonomous driving systems + and Level 3.

Ford says it has decided to refocus its self-driving capital spending from 4 . level system Argo is working (where vehicles handle most of the driving) to Level 2+ (advanced driver assistance) and Level 3 (conditional automation) which it is developing in home. It notes that Argo AI has been unable to attract new investors and that it is taking a “$2.7 billion non-cash, pre-tax loss” investment in the company, resulting in a net loss of 827 million dollars because Q3.

Based on TechCrunchthe first report on the closure of Argo AI, Volkswagen and Ford will exploit the company’s technology and other assets. It’s not clear how the automakers, which have invested at least $3.6 billion in Argo AI among themselves, are dividing things up, or how many of Argo AI’s 2,000+ workers they employ. intend to issue a job offer. All Argo AI employees will receive bonuses as part of a severance package, with Ford and VW no longer receive additional payments and health insuranceAccording to the report.

“In coordination with our shareholders, the decision has been made that Argo AI will not continue its mission as a company,” said a spokesperson for Argo AI. Engadget in a statement. “Many employees will receive the opportunity to continue working on autonomous driving technology with Ford or Volkswagen, while employment for others will unfortunately end.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the dedication of the Argo AI team and very proud of the achievements we have achieved together,” said CEO Bryan Salesky and president of Argo AI, Dr Peter Rander. know. “The team has always delivered superior deliveries, and we look forward to everyone’s success in whatever comes next, including the opportunities Ford and VW present to continue their work on the industry. autonomous driving technology.”

In 2017, Ford said it would invest 1 billion dollars in Argo AI in 5 years. Two years later, VW committed to invest $2.6 billion in capital and assets for the startup. Around that time, Ford and VW said they will work on vehicles exploits Argo AI’s autonomous driving technology. Between them, the automakers hold a “significant majority” of shares in Argo AI.

Argo AI tested its technology on public roads United States and Germany. In May, it start the unmanned operation in Austin and Miami without drivers driving safely. Lyft to be between companies is looking at implementing Argo AI powered vehicles. Just last month, Argo AI announced a number of tools and services designed to support automated delivery and robotaxi operations.

Creating a powerful and safe self-driving system is not an easy challenge. Full Level 5 autonomy is still at least a few years away from becoming truly viable for the mass market. To that end, Ford said in its earnings report that “the large-scale commercialization of advanced Level 4 driver assistance systems by the auto industry will far exceed expectations.” initial guess.”

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