Ford-Backed Argo AI Spends $15M On Autonomous Vehicle Research

Argo AI announced that it has pledged $15 million over five years to fund the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research.

“It’s an amazing time for those of us in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence. We’re starting to see consumer products and services powered by the capabilities that we and our predecessors spent decades developing and testing in labs across the country. And one of the flagship opportunities enabled by these capabilities  —  autonomous vehicles  —  is finally on the horizon with initial commercialization plans in place,” Deva Ramanan, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, wrote in a blog post.

The $15 million will fund a team of five faculty leaders, and support graduate students conducting research on self-driving technology. Argo will provide access to data, infrastructure and platforms for CMU students engaged in autonomous vehicle research.

“This Center builds on Argo’s already-existing collaboration with CMU and Georgia Tech, while introducing a unique model for academic engagement with unprecedented access and openness,” explained Ramanan. “In addition to myself and Simon Lucey serving as the Center’s faculty leaders, it’s a privilege to also have John Dolan, David Held and Jeff Schneider as part of the team. John’s focus is on mechatronics, systems engineering and safety; David’s is machine learning; and Jeff’s is machine learning, computer vision and perception.”

The news comes as Argo AI recently launched Argoverse, a collection of sensor data and HD maps for computer vision and machine learning research, to which researchers and faculty working in the center will have direct access.

“We view this Center as an important step in advancing research addressing the challenges that will enable commercialization of self-driving technology on societal scale, and we look forward to the improvements this Center can help bring to the field of self-driving vehicles,” wrote Ramanan.


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