Eyeing a Self-Driving Future, Ford Drops $1B on an AI Startup

Eyeing a Self-Driving Future, Ford Drops $1B on an AI Startup

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI, which was founded by former Google and Uber leaders, will work to develop a new software platform for Ford, strengthening its self-driving offering, Ford said in an announcement late last night.

Ford aims to recruit 200 employees to the unit by the end of the year.

Mark Fields, chief executive of Ford, said: "Autonomous vehicles will have a significant impact on society just as Ford's assembly line did a hundred years ago". Ford's investment means Argo has scored a significant source of funding that will enable it to become a major and immediate player in the artificial intelligence space, while helping the carmaker stay at the forefront of the autonomous vehicle race.

Just like any specialized industry - and AI for Autonomous Driving is really as specialized as it gets - there is a very limited pool of capable engineers, so Ford clearly hope that Salesky and Rander not only know their stuff, but can attract other, equally able, techies ahead of Google, Uber, Tesla and every other auto maker on the planet.

He also said that although Argo AI will develop software specifically for Ford's cars, it would also be able to license that software to other companies.

"Ford may be one of the largest American companies, but it does not have pockets as deep as Apple and Google", The Verge notes. The company will be based in Pittsburgh but also will have development sites in MI and California, two other states with heavy investment in auto technology development.

Azerbaijan submits its oil output data to OPEC
The next meeting of the committee set up to monitor oil output cuts by OPEC and non-cartel producers is scheduled for March. They said Russia's oil output averaged at 1.516 million tonnes per day, or 11.11 million bpd last month.

Raj Nair, Ford's executive vice president of global product development and chief technical officer, said that the investment will help the company meet its 2021 target.

Salesky formerly worked on self-driving cars at a high-profile project within Google - now known as Waymo - and Rander did the same kind of engineering at ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc before the two men teamed up to launch Argo late past year.

The virtual driver system, translated into English, will be the brain of the self-driving vehicle. Waymo CEO John Krafcik, a veteran of Hyundai North America, has also indicated that his company plans to sell its technology to other automakers. Ford's focus is on not only developing reliable self-driving technology, but also on making that technology commercially viable for mass-produced cars.

Most experts working in this increasingly crowded field are targeting 2021 for delivering autonomous cars to consumers, likely as part of a commercial ride-sharing fleet.

"With Argo's agility and its scale, we are combining the benefits of a technology start-up with the experience and discipline we have at Ford".

  • Unions Continue to Hemorrhage Members

    Unions Continue to Hemorrhage Members

    Just 10.7 percent of the workforce was organized, a 0.4 percentage point annualized decline that translated to 240,000 members. The Hill" newsletter reports that almost thirty states could have "right to work' laws in place by the end of the year.

    Shia LaBeouf charged with assault and harassment

    Shia LaBeouf has been charged with misdemeanor assault following an alleged altercation at his anti-Trump art installation. Members of the public are invited to come stand in front of the camera and recite the phrase " he will not divide us ".

    Apple and Amazon end decade-long audiobook exclusivity deal

    Neither Audible nor Apple immediately responded to a request for comment. Germany's Bundeskartellamt [press releases] also welcomed the agreement.
  • Israel Carries Out Second Round of Strikes on Gaza

    After the devastating conflict of 2014, Israel and Hamas have observed a brittle ceasefire along the largely closed border area. Earlier on Monday morning, unknown militants fired two makeshift rockets from northeast Gaza into southern Israel.
    Houston… We Have a Super Bowl

    Houston… We Have a Super Bowl

    He won two Super Bowl rings with the San Francisco 49ers then won three more as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Where is the Super Bowl 2017? The bookies in Las Vegas think it will be a close affair, with lots of scoring.

    Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in crash in Dominic Republic

    A colonel in the Dominican Republic police informed Enrique Rojas of ESPN that the accident occurred in the town of Juan Adrian. Machado was suspended four games for charging the mound and connecting with a punch to Ventura's face.
  • Full moon, eclipse, and comet all in one night

    Full moon, eclipse, and comet all in one night

    Three magnificent celestial events will happen from the evening of February 10 to the morning of February 11. The Earth's shadow will fall on the moon during the eclipse as the the Earth, sun and moon line in space .
    Bali landslide leaves 12 people dead, homes wiped out

    Bali landslide leaves 12 people dead, homes wiped out

    The agency says more heavy rains are likely in Bali and people should be aware of the possibility of landslides and floods. Four houses were buried, Indonesia's National Disaster Management Board spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Friday.
    Millwall and Fulham shock Premier League sides in FA Cup

    Millwall and Fulham shock Premier League sides in FA Cup

    I've said it all along we need these players but maybe the club are best to answer when and where that's going to happen". Millwall caused another cup upset at the Den as they claimed their second Premier League scalp of the competition.
  • LeBron endorses Oakley for president after Knicks scuffle

    LeBron endorses Oakley for president after Knicks scuffle

    Frankly, if we could all be a little bit more like Charles Oakley , the world would be a better place. "That's my guy. However, the Knicks claim that Oakley "behaved in a highly inappropriate and completely abusive manner".

    VRS plea of food protester constable cancelled: BSF

    Sharmila Yadav, speaking to ANI , said that she had waited for her husband's arrival on January 31 but he did not turn up. Tej Bahadur had posted a video on social media complaining about the quality of food the soldiers were being served.

    O Panneerselvam at Madurai, villagers say no Jallikattu without permanent solution

    A rekla (ox-cart) race, which was inaugurated by state Minister SP Velumani, was organised in Coimbatore on Sunday. Groups of agitators continued their protests at several locations in the state, raising the same demand.