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Ford Motor Co. to invest $1bn in new automotous vehicle start up

15 Feb 2017
Ford Motor Co. has announced it will be investing $1 billion in a months-old startup that specialises in autonomous vehicle technology. 

The Pittsburgh-based artificial intelligence firm Argo Al plans to develop a virtual driver system that will be designed for fully autonomous vehicles Ford has promised to bring to market in 2021. 

Company founders, Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander previously held leadership positions at Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

This is a unique partnership,” Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “A lot of tech companies are looking for customers and a lot of OEMs are looking for technology partners. We are getting expertise, and Argo AI is getting a customer in Ford.”

Ford’s plans closely mirror Toyota Motor Corp.’s $1 billion investment over five years toward creating its own robotics and artificial intelligence research division. Toyota Research Institute was established more than a year ago and is being led by Gill Pratt, the former top robotics engineer for a U.S. military agency.

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