Image credits: Ford Motor
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News Article

Ford to Scale Up Autonomous Vehicles by the End of 2021

By Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 08/18/2021 - 06:00

Ford Motor Company, Argo AI and Lyft are joining forces to scale autonomous ride hailing by the end of 2021. “These three companies share a belief that autonomous vehicles will be a key enabler for a cleaner, safer and more efficient urban mobility landscape," said Scott Griffith, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles & Mobility Businesses.

The partnership includes "all the parts necessary" to create a viable autonomous ride hailing service as it covers self-driving technology, vehicle fleet and the transportation network needed to support a scalable business.

Argo AI, a global platform for autonomous vehicles technology headquartered in Pittsburgh, is developing self-driving technology alongside Ford and Volkswagen group. The company is currently testing autonomous vehicles in Miami, Austin, Washington, Pennsylvania, Michigan and California. Argo AI and Ford will deploy the latter’s self-driving using Lyft’s network. The project will pilot in Miami by the end of 2021, and in Austin in 2022.

After the initial deployment stage, the three companies will finalize the necessary agreements to deploy "at least" 1,000 autonomous vehicles using Lyft's platform across multiple markets over the next five years. “This collaboration is special because we’re executing a shared vision for improving the safety, access and affordability of transportation in our cities,” said Bryan Salesky, Founder and CEO of Argo AI.

Vehicle data plays an essential rote for autonomous vehicle deployment, including market and safety data that helps define the technology. Argo AI will have access to anonymized Lyft data and in exchange Lyft will receive 2.5 percent of Argo AI’s common equity .

If you are interested in the role of data for the development of self-driving technologies and the emergence of the data supply chain, do not miss our analysis on the subject.

“This collaboration marks the first time all the pieces of the autonomous vehicle puzzle have come together this way. Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality," said Logan Green, Co-founder and CEO of Lyft.

Just recently, Lyft sold its self-driving division -Level 5- to Woven Planet, the R&D subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. "Lyft has spent nine years building a transportation network that is uniquely capable of scaling autonomous vehicles. This deal brings together the vision, talent, resources and commitment to advance clean, autonomous mobility on a global scale," said Logan Green, CEO of Lyft, at the time.

Photo by:   Ford Motor
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst