Argo AI has just launched driverless operations in Austin, Texas and Miami, two of the eight global cities in which it is currently developing its technology.
The Argo Autonomy Platform is designed to integrate with multiple vehicle form factors. Partnership with Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, it works to develop high quality, reliable and safe operations. The Argo test fleet currently consists of the Ford Escape Hybrid and VW’s all-electric ID.Buzz.
“Argo is the first to pass without a driver in two major US cities, operating safely among heavy traffic, pedestrians and cyclists in the busiest neighborhoods,” said Bryan Salesky, Founder and CEO of Argo AI.
“From day one, we set out to drive the hardest miles to drive – in multiple cities – because that’s where the density of customer demand is and where our autonomy platform develops the intelligence needed to make it a sustainable business.”
After five years of development, the company’s vehicles operate without a driver, during daytime business hours, while sharing the road with many other people using Argo Autonomy Platform. The company believes the program’s expansion into two cities “marks an important milestone” in merging technology, operational footprint and business partners to create a viable business model that can grow.
Competitors move forward with testing
The company faces fierce competition in the segment, with several companies all chasing the same golden ring: reliable autonomous vehicle technology.
Last winter, Cruise, the self-contained unit of General Motors, has started offering rides in self-driving vehicles without “safety drivers” as it took the first steps toward what GM executives say is the first step toward a potentially lucrative business opportunity that will also save lives by reducing the number of fatal crashes, which killed more than 42,000 people last year — the highest total since 2005.
Waymo, the self-driving company created by Google, is testing self-driving vehicles in San Francisco and last week began redeploying a fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Phoenix, Arizona.
Carpooling a key target
Argo says it plans to offer a full suite of products to help businesses of all sizes improve their operations by using Argo Avs with a set of applications called Argo Connect Services.
With Argo Connect, ridesharing, delivery and logistics companies integrate Argo autonomous vehicles into their own digital services. Argo’s autonomy solutions also provide customers with real-time trip visibility and assistance.
Argo’s operations now span Miami, Austin and Washington, DC and currently reach over 2 million people and thousands of businesses. As the company expands to encompass the entire metro area, its service coverage will grow to more than 15 million people.
In addition to Miami, Austin and DC, Argo operates in five other major cities in the United States and Europe, including Pittsburgh; Detroit; Palo Alto, California, as well as Munich and Hamburg, Germany – enabling the technology to learn from a diversity of road infrastructures and driving behaviors, establishing a robust dataset that supports rapid global expansion entire.
For example, Argo autonomous vehicles running on Lyft’s ridesharing network in Miami Beach, navigate complex traffic scenarios with the following frequencies of total trips. In addition, Argo’s operations cover some of the largest rideshare and freight delivery markets in the United States, including Miami, which in 2021 the second largest rideshare market, Washington, D.C., one of five first, and Austin, who is in the top 20.
Argo technology serves customers every day through collaborations with Lyft and Walmart. These partnerships also include integration with back-end cloud infrastructure to connect the Argo fleet to partner digital services for seamless customer interaction and engagement.