It is news that “Argo AI” (Argo AI), a self-driving startup invested by Ford and Volkswagen, will be closed.

According to foreign media such as IT media TechCrunch on the 26th (local time), Argo AI announced the end of the business through the entire notice.

Argo AI, which was founded in 2016 by engineers from Google and Uber, was called a startup that belongs to the leading group in the autonomous driving market along with NVIDIA and Google Waymo. In 2017, a year after its founding, it gained fame by receiving $1 billion in investment from Ford and $2.6 billion from Volkswagen. At one time, Argo AI’s corporate value was valued at around $7 billion.

However, as the self-driving car market has moved beyond the initial development stage and reached the commercialization stage since the 2020s, R&D-oriented startups and their business units are facing difficulties. Currently, it is difficult to provide complete commercial services with level 2 and level 3 autonomous driving functions that require driver monitoring. Companies like Tesla that do not prove their actual profitability have begun to be pushed out of the additional investment market.

Argo AI also suffered severe financial difficulties this year as it failed to attract additional investment last year. Currently, most of the 2,000 executives and employees remaining at Argo AI are reportedly moving to related companies such as Ford and Volkswagen.

In this regard, Ford CEO Jim Farley said, “There is still a long way to go for fully self-driving cars of full scale,” adding, “I think the best option is to focus on developing practical cargo transportation or level 2/3 applications rather than greed to provide full self-driving services.”

Volkswagen CEO Oliver Blume also said in a statement, “Our goal is to provide the most powerful functions to our customers as soon as possible and start developing them as cost-effectively as possible,” adding, “We will focus on more practical autonomous driving-based driver assistance functions.”

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