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In July 2019, Ford CEO Jim Hackett, Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky and Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess announced a collaboration to develop autonomous vehicle technology. Image Credit: Supplied

Ford and Volkswagen have entered a new phase in their collaboration with Argo AI, with Volkswagen’s investment in Argo AI finalised on June 1. The collaboration, which was announced last July, seeks to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe while helping both the brands improve cost and capital efficiencies.

As part of its plans to build a safe, scalable and trusted self-driving service, Ford has committed to spending more than $4 billion through 2023 on the development of our self-driving service. With Volkswagen’s investment - reportedly to the tune of $2.6 billion - finalised, the two auto giants will now share the cost of developing Argo AI’s technology.

In addition to shared development costs, the deal with Volkswagen makes Argo AI’s self-driving software the first with commercial deployment plans for both Europe and the U.S. As it can tap into both automakers’ global reach, Argo AI’s platform has the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology to date.

While the companies are sharing Argo AI’s technology development costs, the two companies will remain independent and competitive in building their own self-driving service.

“We’ve said before, but it bears repeating: There are several important parts to developing a great self-driving service including the self-driving software, vehicle development, fleet operations and the customer experience. To be successful in this space, a company needs to look at every aspect of the business. It’s not about being first. It’s about providing value to our customers, making people’s lives easier and offering cities new and improved mobility solutions,” said John Lawler, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, and Ford Motor Company Vice President, Mobility Partnerships.