The German car manufacturer Volkswagen and the American Ford reported this Friday their decision to expand your cooperation, which since January already exists ins light commercial vehicles, to the electric area and autonomous driving.
Volkswagen will invest with Ford in the company Argo AI, specialized in software platforms for autonomous driving, which they want to introduce in the USA. and Europe.
Volkswagen will invest 2,600 million dollars (2,300 million euros) in Argo AI, 1,000 million dollars are financial resources made available and 1,600 million dollars correspond to the value of its subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), which enters into cooperation . With this investment, the value of Argo AI increases to 7,000 million dollars (6,200 million euros).
Volkswagen also wants to acquire parts in three years from Argo AI Ford worth 500 million dollars (445 million euros). Ford will invest 1,000 million dollars in Argo AI. "In this way both companies want to increase their competitiveness, adapt their products better to the wishes of customers around the world and achieve synergies of costs and investments," said VW and Ford in a statement.
Volkswagen president Herbert Diess told a news conference in New York that "in the future, more and more customers and the environment will benefit from the Volkswagen consortium's electrical architecture, which opens up new perspectives."
Diess pointed out that VW's modular platform for electrics reduces the development costs for zero-emission vehicles and allows electric vehicles to be sold worldwide more quickly.
Through this collaboration between VW and Ford, the autonomous driving system of Argo AI becomes the first for this type of driving in Europe and the US for commercial purposes. Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said cooperation increases the performance capability and geographic reach of autonomous driving.
Since VW and Ford have a global presence, Argo AI will be able to introduce this technology in more markets. The two automakers want to independently use Argo's autonomous driving system in their vehicles to expand their mobility services.
Ford and Volkswagen will have equal shares in Argo AI and together they take over the majority of the software company. The agreement must be approved by the corresponding supervisory authorities and is subject to compliance with contractual conditions.