Ford and Volkswagen put up for sale artificial intelligence lidar Argo – Liberation of Palestine 🇫🇷

Ford and Volkswagen shut down self-driving car startup Argo AI last week. Today, two automakers put the Argo AI up for sale, hoping to recoup some of the billions they’ve invested.

Argo lidar, two additional elements

Sources with knowledge of the tech startup’s shutdown said Ford and VW wanted to get rid of at least three major elements.

Here are the three main products that both automakers offer to sell:

1. Argo Lidar

In 2017, Argo acquired Princeton Lightwave, a startup specializing in lidar, short for light detection and ranging (via CNET). We are also talking about laser imaging, detection and ranging, which in the DSF sector are considered the “eyes” of the vehicle.

Industry players see lidar as a major piece of the puzzle, with its ability to measure distance so that unmanned vehicles can navigate their environment safely.

The acquisition was hailed as an important step for Argo in its autonomous vehicle program.

Brian Saleski, CEO of Argo AI, said the technology will help the company double the range and resolution to achieve autonomous mobility, especially in urban environments.

At the time, Ford financed the lidar acquisition of the fledgling Argo company.

Subsequently, the Argo team developed a medium-to-long-range lidar capable of seeing at a distance of about 400 meters.

In May 2021, Salesky told TechCrunch that the company has developed lidar sensors at a lower cost and produced them on a large scale. These two factors are critical for any company in the autonomous vehicle sector.

Read also: Ford to lay off 8,000 employees to fund self-driving car expansion

2. 80 employees

The closure of Argo AI left about 2,000 Argo employees out of work. Ford and VW would like to hire these workers.

The two automakers invested about $3.6 billion in Argo, about $2 billion in cash and $1.6 billion in cash when the tech startup acquired VW’s self-driving car division. After the takeover, Argo renamed the division Argo AI GmbH.

The German automaker plans to hire its employees at Argo AI GmbH in Munich.

VW also offered jobs to former Argo employees in the United States. This means that the German automaker may have plans to build in the United States.

3. Lidar technology

According to several sources, LG Innotek may purchase lidar sensors from Argo. A South Korean electronics company made lidars for Argo before the shutdown.

It is likely that LG Innotek will jump at the opportunity to buy the sensors it made for Argo AI.

Waymo and Tesla

Not all companies use lidar sensors in their autonomous vehicles.

Google Waymo is developing lidar sensors. Some have chosen to purchase lidars from other companies such as Velodyne.

But Tesla is not involved in the lidar conversation.

The self-driving cars of the electric vehicle manufacturer do not need lidars to navigate the streets. Current Tesla AV models operate with an autopilot system without lidar transmitters.

Driver Assistance Technology

The closure of Argo AI highlighted the state of the AV industry.

Ford’s decision to divest its stake in the AV technology startup showed the automaker’s pragmatism as it shifted its resources to driver-assistance technology rather than the highly volatile AV business.

Ford CEO Jim Farley said commercial-scale AV profitability remains a distant goal.

While Ford and VW jointly pulled out of Argo, the two automakers continued their electric vehicle joint ventures in Europe and the US.

Related article: Ford and Volkswagen decide to close the Argo AI project due to slow progress.

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