Beyond famous names like Tesla and Google, a whole lot of auto brands and other tech giants are investing billions in autonomous R&D. Many experts believe that the driverless vehicles will be on the EU market from 2020.
In addition to it, the autonomous vehicles’ market is expected to grow exponentially generating new jobs and developing profits of up to €620 billion by 2025 for the EU automotive industry.
Volkswagen AG invests $2.6 billion!
In this context, Volkswagen AG is investing $2.6 billion in capital and assets into Argo AI, Pittsburgh-based self-driving technology company. Having said that the $1 billion will come as direct funding, while the remaining $1.6 billion will be contributed toward using its Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company.
“With Ford and Volkswagen as partners, Argo technology could reach nearly every global market and be applied across multiple brands and to a variety of vehicle platforms.”
Valuation exceeds $7 billion
With valuation exceeding $7 billion, both Ford and Volkswagen will hold equal stakes in Argo, while the remainder of the company’s equity has been set aside for employees.
Meaning, both the manufacturers can integrate the company’s self-driving system into their own vehicles that will be rolled out in the US and Europe. Argo AI is also testing its autonomous vehicle technology in Austin, Miami, Palo Alto, Washington, D.C. and Dearborn, Mich.
Access to 200 employees!
In addition to that, Argo AI will get access to 200 Volkswagen employees, most of whom have been developing Volkswagen Group’s self-driving technology. Moreover, the Munich-based AID office will become Argo AI’s new European headquarters and will be led by AID’s current CEO Karlheinz Wurm.
Volkswagen’s strength in Europe and other global markets will help solve the mobility challenges faced by many cities around the world. On the other hand, Argo AI will also enjoy additional resources brought to the table, including significant experience with electric vehicles.
Volkswagen’s strength in electric vehicles will allow the deployment of zero-emissions self-driving vehicles in cities. As a part of the deal, Ford will have access to Volkswagen’s electronic vehicle architecture and modular electronic toolkit (MEB) as well.
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