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Ford invests in Argo AI for self-driving cars

An artist’s conception shows a Ford autonomous vehicle that has a heads-up display, but no steering wheel. (Ford via YouTube)
An artist’s conception shows a Ford autonomous vehicle that has a heads-up display, but no steering wheel. (Ford via YouTube)

Ford Motor Co. says it’s investing $1 billion over the next five years in a Pittsburgh startup called Argo AI to develop the virtual-driver system for Ford’s autonomous vehicles.

Argo AI was founded only a few weeks ago by CEO Bryan Salesky, who directed hardware development for Google’s self-driving cars; and chief operating officer Peter Rander, who led Uber’s program to develop self-driving cars.

Salesky and Rander, as well as other Argo AI executives, have worked on robotics and AI at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, which helps explain the placement of the startup’s headquarters.

The technology coming out of the collaboration could be licensed to other companies, Ford President and CEO Mark Fields said today in a statement announcing the deal.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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