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Ford, Argo AI team with Lyft to launch self-driving robotaxi service in Miami, Austin

Jordyn Grzelewski, The Detroit News on

Published in Science & Technology News

Meanwhile, Lyft will receive 2.5% of Argo AI's common equity as part of the licensing and data access agreements they've reached to collaborate, the companies said.

Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Argo is preparing to go public, with an expected valuation of more than $7 billion.

Both Ford and German automaker Volkswagen have investment stakes in Argo. Argo's role is to develop the autonomous-driving system for use in its automaker partners' products.

That alliance is up against numerous competitors, including General Motors Co.'s subsidiary Cruise LLC, who are racing to develop autonomous vehicles and launch them at scale.

So far, only Google subsidiary Waymo has launched an actual self-driving robotaxi service in the U.S., Bloomberg recently reported.

Argo has been test-driving autonomous vehicles in six cities around the country, including Detroit.

 

Ford CEO Jim Farley has spoken highly of Lyft in the past.

At a Deutsche Bank event last month, he said Ford "love(s) what Lyft and Uber are doing."

"I stay really close to both companies," he said. "They're very important for Ford and for Argo, both companies, and we think that once we get past this COVID environment, their demands are really going to surge."

And for Ford, which has committed to investing $7 billion in AV development through 2025, Farley sees opportunities beyond robotaxi services. He said last month that the automaker is "increasingly interested in the moving goods middle mile area," referring to commercial vehicles that transport goods, for example, from a plant to a warehouse.

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