Argo AI, Ford Motor Co.'s autonomous-vehicle development partner, said Monday it's investing $15 million over five years to help form an AV research center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
The money will help fund a team of five "world-renowned faculty leaders," Argo said, and support graduate students doing research in pursuit of their doctorates. Research at the center will focus on robocars' ability to operate under a variety of conditions, including winter weather and construction zones.
Students will get access to fleet-scale datasets, vehicles and large-scale infrastructure that would be difficult to obtain otherwise, according to a release.
Carnegie Mellon is a logical choice for the site; Argo is headquartered in Pittsburgh and its founders include alumni of the university.
"It's an honor to support development of the next-generation of leaders and help unlock the full potential of autonomous vehicle technology," Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky said in a statement. "CMU and now Argo AI are two big reasons why Pittsburgh will remain the center of the universe for self-driving technology."
Ford invested $1 billion in Argo in 2017, and the companies are working toward deploying a Level 4 autonomous vehicle for commercial use in 2021. This month, they expanded testing to Detroit.