When we formed Argo AI more than two years ago, our mission was clear: make transportation safer, more accessible, affordable and convenient by developing self-driving vehicles in partnership with leading automakers.
It’s an amazing time for those of us in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. We’re starting to see consumer products and services powered by the capabilities that we and our predecessors spent decades developing and testing in labs across the country. And one of the flagship opportunities enabled by these capabilities — autonomous vehicles — is finally on the horizon with initial commercialization plans in place.
In today’s world of computer vision and machine learning research, it’s all about who has access to high-quality data — and how much of it. That’s because it takes a tremendous amount of data to train, validate, test and improve the perception algorithms and machine learning methods that enable self-driving vehicles to understand the world around them.
Earlier this month, I had the chance to visit
Detroit and see the Motor City from a new perspective when I stepped into the
backseat of one of our self-driving test vehicles. Our new Ford Fusion Hybrid is
a third-generation test vehicle that Argo AI is now deploying in collaboration with
Ford in all five major cities we’re operating in: Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Miami,
Washington, D.C., and now Detroit – where we’re expanding our testing footprint
in Michigan beyond Dearborn.
There are countless studies on the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce, and most focus on the fact that diversity is good for business. We couldn’t agree more, but at Argo it’s more than that. Our technology is being developed to improve the lives of everyone, and our team should reflect that.
We are seeing an explosion of connectivity in our lives, with everything from our phones and cameras to our washing machines being imbued with the power of the internet – even connected toasters are a thing now. This same movement is happening in the automotive world, where self-driving vehicles, especially, will rely heavily on connectivity to operate efficiently out in the world.
Every day Argo AI employees come to work, we all strive toward a higher purpose — transforming how the world moves. We don’t take this lightly, and that’s why it has always been important to me to make Argo AI the best place to work — a space where people want to be each day because they love what they do.
After a year spent testing self-driving vehicles in Pittsburgh and Southeast Michigan — not to mention enduring some cold winter weather — the Argo AI fleet is enjoying a dramatic change of scenery. Among palm trees and ocean views, we’ve expanded our testing with Ford Motor Company into Miami-Dade County, with our self-driving vehicles now mapping roads and accumulating valuable test miles on the streets of Miami and Miami Beach. As we further increase our areas of testing throughout the year, we will continue to add vehicles to our autonomous vehicle fleet.
Developing reliable self-driving cars requires pushing the envelope in computer science and artificial intelligence. While we’re applying the latest techniques in computer vision and machine learning to the work we’re doing every day, some of the most advanced research is being done at the university level. That’s why it’s critical to stay connected to the academic community, so we can cultivate the young minds that will help us bring cutting-edge work out of the lab and into the real world.
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