The partnership of Ford and Volkswagen have been in news since the announcement. On Friday, Ford announced that the collaboration of seven months, between the two companies, would be further expanded and would even include autonomous and electric vehicles on its list.
With the growing technology, electric vehicles have come into view and very soon would even appear in the market. To make a position in the field of electric and autonomous vehicles, Ford and Volkswagen have joined hands. Apparently, Volkswagen is going to invest $2.6 billion in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle startup from Pittsburgh which was found by Ford in 2017 and the company had invested $1 billion in the startup then. It has been said that VW would be investing $1 billion in cash and the rest $1.6 billion in the assets which would be used in Argo AI. The after value of the product is being estimated to be $7 billion.
The earlier contract between the two companies, which took place in January, had only pick-up trucks and commercial vehicles in its list but the new contract also includes autonomous as well as electric vehicles which can be a bit risky for the companies. This can be expensive and has a lot of risks but if it becomes successful then it would definitely change the mode of transportation around the globe.
As per the latest news report, Ford and Volkswagen are not the first companies to think about autonomous and electric vehicles; there have been many companies who are working in this field and soon we would be able to see the results. The thing that would make the difference is which company would be able to produce an electric and autonomous vehicle successfully.
This contract would no doubt give Argo AI a global status but it would also give a lot of expectations to the people. Argo was first invented by Uber engineers along with the help from Carnegie Melon University’s robotics lab. The startup has been tested with Ford in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Miami, and Washington DC and has been well accepted.
The contract would even prove to be beneficial for Ford as it would be able to gain access to VW’s MEB or “Modulare E-Antriebs-Baukasten” platform which can become the basis for producing over 15 million electric vehicles. The platform can be efficiently used to design and build the structure of an electric vehicle. Ford would be using the platform for the above purpose from 2023. If the model for the electric vehicle becomes successful then Ford would be able to sell more than 600,000 electric vehicles in European countries. European countries are the supporters of electric vehicles which can prove to be good for Ford.
It is clearly stated that VW and Ford would have their own autonomous vehicles and would sell them separately in the market but both would be using Argo’s software. Though the technology and data of both the models from the companies are same but some of the features would be different.
With the decrease in the availability of conventional energy sources such as fossil fuels, it has become necessary for us to take help from non-conventional energy sources. This also includes a decrease in the use of fuel-driven vehicles which not only consumes fuel but even causes air pollution. With the arrival of the idea of an electric vehicle, the fuel-driven vehicles would soon come to halt. This contract is a small step in stopping the sale of fuel-driven vehicles and help in conserving the conventional energy sources.