“With incredible growth and progress made in our mission to deploy driverless vehicles, we are making prudent adjustments to our business plan to best continue on a path for success,” Argo AI stated in an email from Bloomberg. The Verge called Argo AI with a request for comments but did not receive a response.
According to the WSJ, the cuts account for about 6.5% of the company’s 22,000-strong team. Argo AI was founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky, the former head of the hardware development department of Google’s automated vehicles (A.V.s), and Peter Rander. He previously was an engineering director for Uber’s autonomous branch. Ford invested $1 billion in the business in 2017, and Volkswagen then followed with a $2.6 billion investment in 2020.
The funding has enabled Argo AI to expand its A.V. operations in several U.S. towns and overseas. Argo AI is currently in the process of testing fully autonomous vehicles in Miami and Austin and is planning to partner in the future with Lyft for both of these cities. Argo AI is also cooperating with Walmart to launch the driverless delivery system within Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C., and is working towards the launch of an automated rideshare service in conjunction with Volkswagen in Germany in 2025.