Most companies developing self-driving technology have concentrated fledgling commercialization efforts in one or two cities. Argo AI, the startup backed by Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen Group, is taking a starkly different approach.
The company is intentionally testing in seven metro areas with plans to start commercial operations in four cities.
Its latest plans are intertwined with Volkswagen, which is reviving its famed microbus as an electric vehicle, the ID Buzz. VW will utilize Argo's self-driving system on the ID Buzz platform and deploy it in 2025 as part of VW's Moia ride-hailing and delivery services, scheduled to start in Hamburg, Germany.
"Multicity testing is core to who we are," Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky said last week while laying out plans to expand testing and commercial service in Germany. "We're in position to automate the miles where demand is across ride-hailing and goods movement applications, and this way, we're not testing on any one fixed route. This ensures our algorithms are robust."