Somewhat surprisingly, self-driving technology startup Argo.AI announced today that it will be closing its doors. In front of the assembled workforce of 2,000 people, the founders announced the closure and that some of the employees will receive job offers from Ford and Volkswagen.
The company was founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky and Pete Rander and came out of stealth mode in 2017. It received an investment from Ford in the amount of $1 billion, which had increased to $2.6 billion a little later with Volkswagen’s investment.
The closure of Argo poses some challenges for Ford and Volkswagen: Developing the technology for autonomous driving is proving to be no easy task. Google, for example, has been working on it since 2009 and has sunk more than $20 billion into development without reaping any benefits so far. Both Volkswagen and Ford are struggling with chip and software problems on their vehicles, which have led to delayed deliveries and dissatisfied customers. It is not certain whether Argo employees will move to the major car companies. The company culture is completely different and the opportunities at competitors less bureaucratic than those prevalent at traditional auto companies.
This article was also published in German.