Ford and Argo AI to launch self-driving cars with Lyft by end of year

An Argo-modified Ford autonomous automobile parked in Manhattan on Friday, July 12, 2019.

Paul Eisenstein | CNBC

Ford will launch an autonomous automobile fleet with Lyft and Argo AI by the end of the year, the businesses introduced Wednesday.

Self-driving rides with security drivers will start this year in Miami. The corporations stated they plan to develop to Austin, Texas, in 2022 and roll out about 1,000 self-driving cars in a number of markets inside 5 years.

The partnership comes as ride-hailing corporations Uber and Lyft ditch their very own in-house methods and as a substitute look to outdoors companions for self-driving expertise. Lyft announced plans in April to sell its autonomous automobile unit to a subsidiary of Toyota for $550 million. In December, Uber sold its self-driving unit to start-up Aurora — which is backed by Hyundai and Amazon — amid safety concerns and extreme costs.

“Each company brings the scale, knowledge and capability in their area of expertise that is necessary to make autonomous ride-hailing a business reality,” stated Lyft co-founder and CEO Logan Green.

As half of the settlement, Lyft will obtain 2.5% frequent fairness of Argo AI, the Ford and Volkswagen-backed autonomous automobile start-up that is reportedly preparing to go public as quickly as this year.

The race to deploy self-driving autos is heating up nationwide. General Motors CEO Mary Barra said during the corporate’s first-quarter earnings name that she expects to provide shoppers autonomous autos this decade. Volkswagen is planning a self-driving microbus with Argo AI by 2025, whereas Ford said in February it plans to invest $29 billion in autonomous and electrical autos via 2025.

Ford and Argo AI have been testing fleets nationwide in Austin; Detroit; Miami; Palo Alto, California; Pittsburgh; and Washington, D.C.

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