On June 2, Volkswagen Group completed a US$2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, a self-driving startup in Pittsburgh, USA. Previously, Argo had received a $1 billion investment from Ford in 2017.
After the transaction was completed, Argo became a global company with two large customers, Volkswagen and Ford, operating in the United States and Europe at the same time, and the number of employees increased significantly. Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), Volkswagen’s autonomous driving department, will be absorbed by Argo, and AID’s Munich office in Germany will become Argo’s European headquarters.
According to the tech website TechCrunch reported that day, after the investment transaction was completed, Argo’s workforce expanded to more than 1,000 people. In the United States, Argo has offices in Detroit, Palo Alto, and Cranbury, New Jersey. The company has self-driving test and mapping fleets and is currently testing on public roads in Austin, Miami and Washington, DC.
At present, Argo is also developing a virtual driver system and high-resolution maps for Ford’s self-driving cars, and this project has now been extended to the public. According to the terms of the transaction, Ford and Volkswagen will share the cost of Argo’s research and development of artificial intelligence autonomous vehicle technology.
However, apart from the joint investment, Ford and Volkswagen will not cooperate on the actual self-driving car service.
The Argo board now includes two seats for Volkswagen, two seats for Ford and three seats for Argo.