Ford-backed autonomous car startup Argo AI lays off 150 employees

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Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle startup backed by both Ford and Volkswagen, has laid off about 150 employees, as previously reported by Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal† The move should offset a period of rapid growth in which the company took on more employees than needed.

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“With incredible growth and progress in our mission to deploy driverless vehicles, we are making tentative adjustments to our business plan to best continue on the road to success,” Argo AI said in an email statement obtained by BloombergThe edge contacted Argo AI with a request for comment, but did not immediately hear back.

As noted by the WSJ, the layoffs make up about 6 percent of the Pittsburgh-based company’s 2,000-strong team. Argo AI was founded in 2016 by Bryan Salesky, the former head of hardware development for Google’s autonomous vehicles (AVs), and Peter Rander, who previously served as the engineering lead for Uber’s self-driving arm. Ford injected $1 billion into the company in 2017, and Volkswagen followed suit with a $2.6 billion investment in 2020.

This funding allowed the company to expand its AV business in several US cities and abroad. Argo AI is currently testing fully autonomous vehicles in Miami and Austin and plans to partner with Lyft in both cities. It is also partnering with Walmart to implement a driverless delivery service in Miami, Austin and Washington, DC, and is working toward its goal of launching an automated rideshare service with Volkswagen in Germany by 2025.

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