Argo AI works to spread its autonomous driving wings

Argo AI works to spread its autonomous driving wings

Self-driving technology company Argo AI is rolling out an all-inclusive collection of autonomous vehicle products and services designed for commercial use to fit fleets and all vehicle types.

Besides self-driving technology, products from the company based in Pittsburgh include a vehicle and fleet management system and a data analytics platform for vehicles used in ride-hailing and delivery services.

Argo, primarily funded by Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen Group, is testing self-driving technology on public roads in Pittsburgh; Detroit; Austin, Texas; Miami; Palo Alto, Calif.; Munich; and Hamburg, Germany. The company is also conducting public pilot programs with Lyft in Miami and with Walmart in Austin and Miami.

Argo is using Ford Escape crossovers and Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans in U.S. tests and electric VW ID Buzz vans in Germany.

“Argo’s product ecosystem offers businesses the customizable tools and solutions they need to integrate autonomous vehicles into their existing operations,” said Brett Browning, Argo’s chief technology officer and executive vice president of product development.

Argo’s self-driving technology is available in four categories: its Connect system, Autonomy Platform, Autonomy Solutions, and Autonomy Data and Analytics.

Argo describes Connect as the gateway to its self-driving technology. Connect allows businesses to integrate the company’s technology into their existing services via application programming interface.

Connect is also a scheduling and dispatching tool and handles customer-facing services such as unlocking a vehicle’s doors.

The Argo Autonomy Platform includes all the hardware, software, mapping and back-end support needed to enable a business to operate self-driving vehicles on public roads.

That includes:

• Argo Drive hardware and software to analyze a self-driving vehicle’s surroundings, sense other road users, predict their actions and operate steering and braking accordingly.

• Argo Lidar to provide 360-degree sensing around a vehicle. It is designed and manufactured by Argo.

• Argo Map, which supplies high-definition, street-level renderings of roads and traffic infrastructure such as speed limit signs in the cities where Argo is testing. “We’ve built a turnkey process to be able to gather the data and build maps for any city rather quickly,” said Argo spokeswoman Catherine Johnsmeyer.

• Argo Hub, which uses cloud-based communication and other technology to provide remote troubleshooting and guidance of AVs.

Argo Autonomy Solutions, which is Argo’s fleet operations system, includes data collection, sensor calibration, vehicle maintenance and terminal and personnel management. Argo Autonomy Solutions can be scaled to any size business, the company said.

Argo Autonomy Data and Analytics collects data on vehicles to improve their self-driving operation and provide insight into how they’re performing. It also allows a business to refine vehicle logistics and operation and helps city governments better manage AVs on their streets, Argo said.

“We’re already proving out our products and services through our development fleet as well as through consumer-facing programs with Lyft and Walmart,” Browning said.

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