Argo AI: The Future is Happening Right Now
As technology grows, so does the need to reorganize the chaos that is today’s traffic. Safe driving, better coordination, comfort, and logistics, are just a portion of the demands to incorporate in the already impaired traffic system. Realizing the general inability to adjust to the surging number of vehicles and the overall street mess, Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander came up with the most brilliant solution, one that puts quality traffic back on the right track!
Striving to make a collective improvement that impacts as many aspects of today’s modern life as possible, Argo AI evolves street motion to the nines. Argo AI’s self-driving technology has a heartfelt potential to reshape the way we get around. It reinforces self-driving vehicles with the latest tech innovations, traffic maps, and cloud-backed infrastructure - and revives cities worldwide!
Here is the story of two robotics enthusiasts, Bryan Salesky and Peter Rander, whose ever-alive compulsion to create a better world for us all led them to worldwide fame.
The CEO of Argo AI, Bryan was born in a small town called Woodhaven, Michigan, just outside of Detroit. Bryan later settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Argo AI is currently based. While he was still in the National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), at Carnegie Mellon University, Bryan developed a portfolio of the biggest commercial programs at the center, like Caterpillar’s autonomous mining trucks.
In 2007, Bryan became a leading software engineer for Tartan Racing which had the DARPA Urban Challenge’s winning entry. Bryan then decided to depart from NREC before becoming a part of the inspiring Google self-driving car team, back in 2011.
This way he was able to continue chasing his dream of making self-driving vehicles a reality. Bryan’s responsibility covered the manufacturing and development of Google’s hardware portfolio. This was pure joy for him, considering he was working on computers, self-driving sensors, and numerous programs for vehicle development.
He kept on walking his life path when he became a co-host of the No Parking Podcast, a show dedicated to building trust in the concept of developing self-driving cars. Peter Rander, on the other hand, the now-president of Argo AI, is a Michigan native. Highly driven to see and be a part of robotics technology that is changing our world, Peter has stubbornly pursued countless opportunities to push the change forward.
Peter’s drive for becoming the face of many global changes led him to alternate between several jobs. He invested his time working on many commercialization projects at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center and also became a head figure in the formative team responsible for the launch of Uber’s self-driving car.
The Next Step
After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in science and engineering, in 2002, Bryan began working at Union Switch & Signal. He had always found the transportation industry alluring, and here, he was working on anti-collision software intended for optimizing the railway’s signaling equipment.
Bryan’s next job, at the National Robotics Engineering Center, or NREC, urged Bryan to finally lay a solid professional foundation. More precisely, he was a part of the Institute of Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics, and interestingly enough, this was where he also met Peter, his then-boss whose love for robotics enabled him to learn many essential skills, such as perception, computer vision, path control, planning, and simulation-based robotic system testing and development.
Bryan found Peter’s education rich as well: he held a Ph.D. and a Master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering as well as a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mercy, University of Detroit.
From a boss-employee dynamic, the duo soon moved on to a strategic partnership driven by the mission of providing a better and safer existence for all. They ultimately collided in 2007, when they led the software development team of Carnegie Mellon and collaborated on the third DARPA driverless car.
From Baby Steps to a Multi-Investment Company
Argo AI’s great awakening officially happened by the end of 2016 through a tiny seed round given from an unidentified source. The once-unimaginable event for Bryan and Peter took place at the very beginning of 2017, as Ford Motor Company made an announcement saying it will invest $1 billion in Argo AI.
The timespan for the investment was stretched over the following five years. The final goal of this investment was to develop a system supported by a virtual driver for the autonomous vehicle automaker in 2021. This was when Ford instantaneously became Argo AI’s largest shareholder, which enabled the hiring of over 200 additional employees, among which there were members of Ford’s R&D team.
The company’s next, even bigger investor was Volkswagen. This company invested $2.6 billion into Argo AI in June 2020. The deal had terms under which Volkswagen dedicated $1 billion in cash for Argo AI’s further development and the rest $1.6 billion to its Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) unit, based in Munich.
Location and Workforce
Between the investments of both Ford and Volkswagen Argo AI has raised over $3.6 billion. This world-changing company’s shares are divided into three parts. Ford and Volkswagen each own 40% of the enterprise, while the management team owns 20%. To achieve perfect equity, the board of directors at Argo AI comprises two Volkswagen seats, two Ford seats, and three Argo AI seats. The headquarters of this technology giant is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Thanks to their friendship and collaboration, Peter and Bryan’s Argo AI stepped up the business ladder and made one crucial social contribution - they introduced a whole new level of community engagement.
The current platform team consists of five members including Bryan and Peter, along with their Chief Information Officer Summer Craze Fowler, the VP and business strategy developer, Cynthia Kwon, and finally Brett Browning, Argo AI’s chief technology officer.
Future Plans and Projects
Argo AI always works to improve in all aspects. However, this company’s team is currently working on a new project which is scheduled to be launched by 2025. In the main, Argo AI and Volkswagen plan to initiate a one-of-a-kind project which is a self-driving electric taxi.
They plan to basically launch commercial and passenger versions of the ID. Buzz in 2023, and of course, Ford is also a huge piece of the puzzle!
An Evolving Story
No matter the outcome, the world is looking eagerly forward to seeing this incredible piece of technology hitting the streets - and who knows where that will take Argo AI’s team next?
One thing’s for sure, though - the way Bryan and Peter had set sail, Argo AI is up for greatness - and the world is happy to follow along as it unravels!