Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC Launches with $4 Billion in Funding

Ford may be having trouble making money selling cars, but its F-150 pickup is the best selling vehicle in the world! That’s not a typo.

To stake their claim to be a leader in electrified, autonomous ride services they announced last week the launch of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC. Uber and Lyft take notice.

Ford plans to launch a self-driving car network in 2021. The new unit will include self-driving systems integration, vehicle research and advanced engineering, AV transportation-as-a-service network development, user experience, business strategy and business development teams. The unit will be based in Detroit and include Argo AI a partner located in Pittsburgh who recently acquired Princeton Lightwave. Argo will get $1 billion.

I realize that is next to impossible to keep up with the autonomous vehicle announcements, but what this means to me is that in the end today’s major car manufacturers are going to be the key players in the autonomous and connected vehicle markets. The top two or three companies that can build solid state lidar sensors and other devices may become profitable, but I don’t see it for software and data.

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