When was Argo AI founded, and why?
Argo AI was founded by Bryan Salesky and Pete Rander in 2016, to develop self-driving technology that will make getting around cities safe, easy, and enjoyable for all. To achieve that goal, we partner with the world’s leading automakers to build self-driving vehicles for deployment in ride hailing and goods delivery services.
What is Argo AI developing?
We put safety first in the development of a production-quality self-driving system — which is the software, hardware (sensors and compute), maps, and cloud support infrastructure that powers self-driving vehicles. Working together with leading automakers, we integrate our self-driving system into their vehicles so that they can be manufactured at scale.
What do you mean by “self-driving vehicles”?
When we say “self-driving vehicles,” we mean vehicles intended to operate by themselves, without human driver intervention, within a given set of parameters, such as geographical boundaries and environmental conditions. This is otherwise known by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) as Level 4 automation.
What is your relationship with Ford and Volkswagen?
Argo AI is an independent company that has established separate partnerships with two global automakers — Ford and Volkswagen — as the first customers of our technology. Our partnerships allow us to work hand-in-hand to approach the design, development and manufacture of self-driving vehicles holistically. With Ford and Volkswagen as partners, our self-driving system is the first with commercial deployment plans for Europe and the U.S. Plus, with the ability to tap into both automakers’ global reach, our platform has the largest geographic deployment potential of any self-driving technology to date. Ford and Volkswagen are equal minority investors in Argo. Check out our blogs for specifics on the Ford investment and VW investment.
Will you license or sell your technology to other companies?
We are open to exploring new opportunities and partnerships that involve the use of our self-driving platform, and that are aligned with our mission to build self-driving technology you can trust.
Where are you currently testing your driverless cars?
We are currently driving on public roads in Washington, DC; Miami, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; Detroit, MI; Palo Alto, CA, Austin, TX; and Munich, Germany.
Can I buy a self-driving vehicle with Argo AI technology?
The self-driving vehicles we develop with our partners won’t initially be sold to customers in the way that cars are today. Together with our partners, we believe we can offer the best value to customers with shared fleets designed for ride-hailing and goods delivery services. Over time, we expect that personally owned cars will be equipped with Level 4 self-driving technology, but anticipate this will happen only after shared fleets are deployed successfully.
Will Argo AI operate its own ride hailing or goods delivery services?
Our focus is on the development of the self-driving system. We work with leading automakers to integrate our system into their vehicles so that we can deploy them into shared mobility services, such as ride hailing and goods delivery fleets.
When am I going to be able to experience a self-driving vehicle with Argo AI’s technology platform?
You might see or read about self-driving vehicles with Argo AI technology operating on city streets for testing, but they won’t be available to customers until they’re ready for commercial operations. We are not in a race to be the first to offer self-driving vehicles to the public. Our focus is on deploying the technology safely and pragmatically.
When will self-driving vehicles with Argo AI technology be available in my city?
Our partners will be responsible for the commercial services that utilize Argo AI’s self-driving system. Together, we will introduce self-driving vehicles to new cities gradually and deliberately, through community engagement, public awareness, and relationships with local and state government.
When will Argo AI consider it safe to deploy self-driving vehicles as part of a commercial service?
Argo AI and its partners are not in a race to deploy self-driving vehicles. Our priority is to develop self-driving technology that is safe, reliable, and scalable. We currently test our self-driving vehicles with two Test Specialists in the front seats at all times, and will only operate without Test Specialists when the technology is ready. We are working with industry partners and other stakeholders to develop standards for self-driving vehicle safety. For the time being, we do not anticipate removing Test Specialists from our self-driving test vehicles.
Will self-driving vehicles appear everywhere, all at once, anytime soon?
Self-driving vehicles will be introduced gradually. Argo AI was founded on the belief that self-driving technology can have a profound positive impact on our world. Working in concert with other technologies, self-driving technology will enable us to provide a safer, easier, and more enjoyable way for everyone to get around. Read more about this in our blog.
Will the introduction of self-driving vehicles mean that young people will never have to learn how to drive?
We expect the need, and the desire, to drive oneself to be around for a long time to come. Making the decision to learn to drive is a choice. Some people may decide there are enough transportation options to suit their day-to-day needs (particularly if they live in dense urban areas), while others may decide that driving will give them greater personal mobility. Self-driving technology has a long way to go before it will enable us to travel anywhere, under any conditions, but we expect it to start gradually improving lives by making our roads safer and giving people more accessible and convenient transportation options.
I love to drive. Why would I want a self-driving vehicle?
We love to drive, too. But let’s face it, owning and driving a vehicle can be a challenge in cities, due to traffic congestion and the cost and hassle of parking. And all of us are human, which means we can get tired, distracted, or otherwise impaired – or just have days when we’d like to do something else with our time rather than drive. Self-driving vehicles can alleviate many of these challenges and we view them as being another option to consider depending on your needs, but we do not believe in or advocate for the end of people’s right to drive. Self-driving vehicles may not be for everybody, and that’s perfectly fine.
What are all of the things I see on the roof of your self-driving test vehicles?
The thing on the roof of our self-driving test vehicles is called a “sensor pod.” It houses many of our vehicles’ sensors. Each sensor — lidar, radar, and camera — enable our vehicles to see and sense the world around them. We use three types of sensors for greater redundancy, to ensure our vehicles are accurately “seeing” the world, and doing so in all kinds of weather and lighting conditions.
What sort of weather can self-driving vehicles handle?
In the current state of technology, some weather conditions, such as hail, heavy rain, and falling snow, can impact the perception capabilities of self-driving systems. If we encounter conditions that affect our system in any way, our trained Test Specialists disengage from autonomous mode and drive the vehicle manually. It is in our roadmap to find solutions to operating in specific weather conditions, based on the business needs and operating domains in which we plan to launch.
Do Argo AI’s self-driving test vehicles obey speed limits?
Yes, our vehicles follow all posted speed limits.
Will self-driving vehicles “solve” congestion in our cities?
If applied correctly, self-driving vehicles have the potential to help improve traffic congestion, but a fleet of self-driving vehicles won’t deliver that result alone. In order to reduce congestion, we need to take a look at how self-driving vehicles fit into the broader transportation system. For a more in depth answer, see our blog.
Are you hiring?
I’m a journalist and I’d like to write a piece on Argo AI. How can I get in touch?
For all media inquiries, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I saw one of your vehicles on the road and would like to share my feedback. How can I get in touch?
We welcome and encourage feedback about how our vehicles are driving in the communities in which we’re testing. Please direct all questions and comments to email@example.com.