American carmaker Ford has been planning to introduce a commercial ride unmanned car to share the fleet in 2021. In an effort to make this dream a reality, General Motors will invest $ 1 billion in the next five years at technology startups in Argo, which will help automakers build a virtual drive system. Once successful, the technology may be licensed to other companies.
Argo Al, founded by former executives from self-diving teams at Uber and Google, focusses on artificial intelligence and robotics. Their expertise will help Ford introduce fully autonomous vehicles by 2021. Ford Chief Executive Officer, Mark Fields was quoted as saying, “With Argo AI’s agility and Ford’s scale we’re combining the benefits of a technology start up with the experience and discipline we have at Ford.” Last year, ford invested around $75 million to buy minority stake in Velodyne, a manufacturer of laser-based lidar sensing systems for self-driving cars.
Ford’s efforts are likely to yield positive results as most automakers around the globe are working towards developing electric and self-driving cars. This will help the American automaker follow the lines of Toyota Motor Corp’s $1 billion investment over five years to create its own robotics and artificial intelligence research division. General Motors also invested $500 million to buy a 9-percent stake in San Francisco-based ride services firm Lyft, a competitor to Uber. Additionally, GM has also acquired Silicon Valley based self-driving startup Cruise Automation.