Automotive giants Ford, Volkswagen in alliance on e-mobility, AI: Page 2 of 2

July 15, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Volkswagen MEB traction matrix
Ford and Volkswagen extend their worldwide cooperation to electric cars and autonomous driving. To this end, the two companies are jointly investing in the development of a software platform for artificial intelligence. And Ford will build its electric vehicle on the basis of Volkswagen's MEB E-Drive Kit.

According to Volkswagen’s plans, more than 15 million new vehicles from the Volkswagen Group alone will be based on the MEB in the coming decade. Ford, for its part, will invest a total of $11.5 billion in the electrification of its worldwide range of vehicles.

Together with Ford, Volkswagen will invest in Argo AI (Pittsburgh, PA), a company specializing in software for autonomous driving, whose estimated enterprise value is expected to rise to more than seven billion US dollars. This collaboration will make Argo AI's Self-Driving System (SDS) the first autonomous driving system to be commercialized in both Europe and the United States. Volkswagen and Ford intend to use the SDS in their own vehicles independently of each other in order to expand the respective mobility services of the two companies. Argo AI's SDS will enable fully automated driving according to SAE Level 4 and, in particular, open up new perspectives for ridesharing and delivery services in city centres.

Ford and Volkswagen each intend to invest approximately $2.6 billion in Argo AI. Through the investment, the two car manufacturers will together hold a significant majority in Argo AI. As part of Volkswagen's investment, the company will contribute its subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), valued at $1.6 billion, which is involved in similar developments to Argo AI. AID's Munich location becomes Argo AI's European headquarters.

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