Ford and Volkswagen Collaborate to Advance Autonomous Driving


On July 12 Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles. The two companies will also collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe. These collaborations position both companies to better serve customers while also improving their competitiveness and cost efficiencies!


Argo AI created the first self-driving system with commercial deployment plans for Europe and the U.S. And, with the added resources from Ford and Volkswagen, the tech company can tap into both automakers’ global reach: this gives Argo AI the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology to date. 


Ford and Volkswagen each invested in Argo AI, but the companies will have an equal stake. Combined the two auto companies own a substantial majority of Argo AI. What’s left of the stock will be used as an incentive pool for Argo AI employees. Note, the full transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.


“While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach,” Hackett said. “Unlocking the synergies across a range of areas allows us to showcase the power of our global alliance in this era of smart vehicles for a smart world.”


Company leaders also announced that Ford will be the first automaker outside of VW to use VW’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit — or MEB — to deliver a high-volume zero-emission vehicle in Europe starting in 2023.


“Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate,” Diess said. “Scaling our MEB drives down development costs for zero-emissions vehicles, allowing for a broader and faster global adoption of electric vehicles. This improves the positions of both companies through greater capital efficiency, further growth and improved competitiveness.”

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