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Ford, VW finalize autonomous vehicle deal with Argo AI

The Ford logo is displayed at the Chicago Auto Show on February 11, 2014. Ford announced it has closed a deal with Volkswagen to work on autonomous vehicles with Argo AI. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI
The Ford logo is displayed at the Chicago Auto Show on February 11, 2014. Ford announced it has closed a deal with Volkswagen to work on autonomous vehicles with Argo AI. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

June 2 (UPI) -- Ford and Volkswagen finalized a deal Tuesday with Pittsburgh-based Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology to the United States and Europe.

In a statement, Ford said Volkswagen would join in its investment in Argo AI in an effort to improve "cost and capital efficiencies." Ford and Volkswagen will spend more than $4 billion through 2023 in developing the self-driving service.

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"At Ford, we believe self-driving technology can make people's lives easier and provide new and more efficient mobility solutions for our congested cities," Ford said in its statement. "Building a safe, scalable and trusted self-driving service, however, is no small task. It's also not a cheap one."

Argo AI's founders Bryan Salesky and Pete Rander, who worked in Google and Uber's automated driving programs, helped win an initial investment from Ford in early 2017.

Argo has been working to develop the automated driving system that Ford hopes to put into production in 2021. Earlier this year, Ford said that rollout would be delayed until 2022.

"While our companies are sharing Argo AI's technology development costs, Ford will remain independent and fiercely competitive in building its own self-driving service," Ford said. "Sharing the development costs with Volkswagen doesn't mean Ford is reducing its overall spend in the autonomous vehicle space."

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