Auto Tech

Argo AI can now test self-driving cars in California

The company, which counts Ford among its investors, received the permit to do so this week.

Ford

Argo AI is set to expand its fleet of autonomous development vehicles to a fifth location.

Argo AI has received a permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous cars within state borders, Automotive News reports, citing the DMV's records. The vehicles will hit the roads around Argo AI's headquarters in Palo Alto, according to a spokesperson, who spoke with AN.

The company is the 62nd entity to receive a permit for testing AVs in California, following in the footsteps of Bosch, Honda, Tesla, VW, Waymo and others. A full list of permit holders is available on the California DMV's website, in addition to other documentation like collision and disengagement reports.

62 companies have received AV testing permits in California, some of which you've probably heard of, and others you probably haven't.

Ford

Argo AI is most commonly referred to alongside Ford, which invested $1 billion in the startup in early 2017 as part of the company's multibillion-dollar investments in electrification and autonomy.

Currently, Argo has four other locations it uses for AV testing. Cars are being used for research and development purposes in Michigan and Pennsylvania, while other cars are in Florida and Washington, DC to help Ford flesh out the commercial self-driving service it wants to launch to the public in 2021. Whereas many AV-company head honchos are quick to promise everything short of the moon, Argo's CEO took to Medium in 2017 to offer a more tempered outlook on AV ubiquity. Spoiler alert: It's going to take time, and a lot of it.

But that doesn't mean Argo's not making great progress. In fact, our own Tim Stevens went down to Miami in November to take a spin in one of Argo's Ford Fusions. While he didn't quite rate the system ready for prime time, a chat with Ford CEO Jim Hackett revealed that the automaker doesn't think of it as a race -- it's thinking a little further down the road than that.

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