VW Invests $2.6 Billion In Ford's Self-Driving Startup

The cost of developing self-driving cars keeps going up.

This means it’s getting tougher for most companies to go it alone.

The latest in the pooling-of-resources trend is a $2.6 billion investment Volkswagen is making in Argo AI, the Ford-backed autonomous driving startup.

The two-year-old startup is now valued at a whopping $7 billion.

The investment comprises $1 billion in funding and VW contributing to the venture its Autonomous Intelligent Driving company, valued at $1.6 billion, according to Bryan Salesky, CEO and co-founder of Argo AI.

“Our agreement with Volkswagen positions us as a technology platform company, expands the potential geography for deployment and will further fuel our product development,” Salesky states in a blog post. “We’re the first self-driving company with definitive deployment plans in both the United States and Europe.”

Ford previously invested $1 billion in Pittsburgh-based Argo AI, which is expected to expand from 200 to 700 employees.

This is not the first instance of companies teaming to tackle autonomous vehicles.

Earlier this month, the BMW Group and Daimler AG signed a deal for long-term, strategic cooperation focused on jointly developing automated highway driving and automated parking.

Meanwhile, General Motors, Honda and Cruise are working together to develop autonomous vehicles, with Honda committing $2 billion to the venture.

A larger group of companies (BMW, Audi, Intel, Volkswagen, Here, FCA, Daimler, Continental, Baidu, Aptiv and Infineo) recently combined resources to jointly published the “Safety First for Automated Driving” framework for the development and testing of automated passenger vehicles.

Last year, the SoftBank Vision Fund invested $2.25 billion into GM Cruise Holdings, giving Softbank a 20% equity stake in GM Cruise.

In the Argo AI venture, Volkswagen brings to the table significant experience with electric vehicles with Ford contributing its know-how in scale and previous work on autonomous vehicles.

While time will tell whether any of the joint ventures succeed, plenty of money will spent along the way.

2 comments about "VW Invests $2.6 Billion In Ford's Self-Driving Startup".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , July 13, 2019 at 12:05 p.m.

    So, I pretty muched nailed this by  calling it a Sadie Hawkins Dance.  Still a few "dates" left to merge.  You guys sure your "pooling-of-resources" isn't going to become a PUDDLE?
    I do. Look at the top picture, look at the Ghost Buster crap on the top of the car.  NO ONE
    ever tells you how much of all of that Plastic Circuit bord technology costs per vehicle.  My guess has always been $17,000 -22,000.  If these companiues are investing billions in a product  most people don't want, how do they ever expect to recoup the investment, much less a profit????   This is why theis IS The Dumbest Idea of the 21st Century.

    And then we have the infamous "corporate speak" again.  How do these tech nerds talk at the dinner table????  (Using the words from the quote above)

    Husband to wife-   "Honey, since our verbal agreement  and mutual marital contract was consumated, I have appreciated your culinary platform , and ever
    expanding technological deployment of nutricious food products that  are prepared with intense  emotional commitment , positioning the definitive geograhical realignment and further  fueling my ever-expanding belly"

  2. Ken Kurtz from creative license, July 13, 2019 at 1:08 p.m.

    Hell. I'm going to have to re-think my devotion, and attachment to VW. 

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