Ford's autonomous vehicle arm Argo AI is already testing self-driving vehicles in a handful of cities. But the company has a few key puzzles to solve before it can deploy its fleets on a large scale. To help answer the remaining questions -- like how can autonomous vehicles reason in highly unstructured broken-traffic conditions -- Argo is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). The newly formed Carnegie Mellon University Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research will work to advance the next-generation of self-driving tech.
Argo AI has pledged $15 million over five years, and the funding will support five faculty, along with a group of doctoral candidates. The center will work to advance autonomous vehicle tech as a whole, but it will also help Argo AI develop its next-generation technology and push into more cities. According to Argo, neither industry nor academia alone can solve the challenges of developing and deploying self-driving cars and the infrastructure needed to support them; together, though, Argo and CMU might stand a chance. Argo isn't the first autonomous vehicle company to partner with CMU. A few years ago, Uber was charged with poaching the university's robotics lab of top staff. It's likely this time around CMU will be looking for a more collaborative endeavor.