It’s clear that all the major car manufacturers think that autonomous cars are the future of transportation. Companies are investing heavily into the development of the technology that will enable our vehicles to drive themselves. One of these companies is Ford.
The Michigan-based car maker announced that it will invest $1 billion in Argo AI, which is in the business of developing self-driving technology. The large investment will be made over the course of the next five years and will make Ford the majority stakeholder of the company.
Argo AI was founded by former Google and Uber engineers and will now focus its efforts on developing a virtual driver system for Ford’s self-driving car, which should be unveiled in 2021. Ford also mentioned that it plans on licensing its technology to other companies eventually.
The company clearly wants to make it big in the autonomous vehicle market. Mark Fields, the President and CEO of Ford, said that the next decade will be defined by the automation of our cars and that self-driving vehicles will have the same impact on our society as Ford’s moving assembly line did 100 years ago.
He might be right about this. Autonomous cars do have the potential to redefine the automotive world. However, we still have a long way to go before they will be capable of driving us around without any major safety issues. It takes time as well as a lot of money to develop and bring fully self-driving cars to the market.
Ford apparently knows this and has now decided to take the risk of investing big in an unknown Pittsburgh-based company that will hopefully help it bring the self-driving technology to the next level. Will their investment pay off in the end? Only time will tell.