- With Volkswagen’s investment last week in Argo AI, Ford and Volkswagen will work with Argo AI to independently develop AVs at scale based on Argo AI’s innovative self-driving technology
Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG signed agreements that expand their global alliance to meet rapidly evolving needs of their respective customers in Europe and other regions by leveraging complementary strengths in midsize pickup trucks and com-mercial and electric vehicles.
Plans for the agreements were first announced by Ford and Volkswagen last July.
The companies expect the alliance to enhance ownership experiences for current and future customers by more rapidly innovating vehicle offerings, incorporating relevant new technologies, delivering better utility and offering more model choices. They anticipate continued growth in global industry demand for commercial vehicles and for high-performing electric vehicles to add valuable scale to their individual product portfolios.
The alliance will:
- Produce a medium pickup truck engineered and built by Ford, for sale by Volkswagen as the Amarok starting in 2022 within the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles lineup
- Further strengthen the commercial-vehicles businesses of both companies as early as 2021 – with a city delivery van based on the latest Caddy model, developed and built by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and later a 1-ton cargo van created by Ford, and
- Lead to a highly differentiated Ford electric vehicle for Europe by 2023 built on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive, or MEB, Toolkit, expanding on Ford’s zero-emission capabilities in the region
Additionally, the companies will both work with Argo AI to form distinct, highly capable autonomous-vehicle businesses based on Argo AI’s self-driving technology.Last week, Volkswagen closed its previously announced investment in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based company in which Ford already had ownership and development interests.
Volkswagen and Ford independently choosing to invest in Argo AI illustrates the technical leadership and progress of Argo AI’s self-driving system, and how alliances can help enable development of breakthrough technologies that require substantial time and resources.Argo AI’s SDS is the first with commercial deployment plans for both Europe and the U.S.The global reach of Ford and Volkswagen will give Argo AI’s platform the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology to date.Reach and scale are important factors in developing an SDS that is robust and cost efficient.