Ford Rebrands Argo AI as Latitude AI, Giving It a New Purpose, Sort Of

Ford rebrands Argo AI into Latitude AI 7 photos
Photo: Argo AI | Edited
Latitude AI logoLatitude AI meetingLatitude AI CTO Peter CarrLatitude AI CEO Sammy OmariArgo AI driverless vehiclesArgo AI driverless vehicles
Ford has announced that its newest venture, Latitude AI, will work on new automated driving technology. The Blue Oval aims to develop a hands-free, eyes-off driver assist system for next-generation Ford vehicles. Latitude AI employs the same team that worked at Argo AI before Ford abandoned it.
Ford’s decision to close Argo AI in October last year wasn’t surprising, considering the financial difficulties the company experienced. With its partner Volkswagen already pulling out, Ford had little choice but to do the same and abandon plans to develop autonomous vehicles. Now, it appears that Ford has not written off everything that Argo AI was working on. The Blue Oval has announced a new company, Latitude AI, whose purpose would be to develop advanced driving assist systems for future Ford vehicles.

When it pulled the plug on Argo AI, Ford announced it would concentrate on developing automated systems that help human drivers rather than eliminate them from behind the wheel. With the new wholly-owned subsidiary Latitude AI, Ford will use a page from Tesla’s book. Instead of trying to make cars drive themselves, it’s now focusing on assisting the drivers in boring situations. These include bumper-to-bumper traffic or driving on long stretches of highway.

Ford’s efforts to develop an Autopilot/FSD competitor do not start from scratch: its 550-person staff is largely comprised of employees Ford hired from Argo AI when it shut down operations in October 2022. The team is expected to apply what they’ve learned in automated driving, including software development tools and infrastructure, in the pivot to work on advanced driver assist systems (ADAS). Although Argo AI and Latitude AI appear to do pretty much the same thing, there are stark differences.

Argo AI worked to make cars drive themselves by eliminating the human driver. This has wasted huge amounts of money for its backers for very few accomplishments. On the other hand, Tesla has made big strides with its Level 2 autonomous driving system, FSD (still in beta). That’s why Ford scaled back its ambitions and is now trying to copy Tesla by developing Level 2 and 3 automated driving systems for next-generation Ford vehicles.

Latitude AI is based in Pittsburgh, with additional engineering hubs in Dearborn and Palo Alto. The company will also operate a highway-speed test track facility in Greenville, SC. Sammy Omari, executive director of advanced driver-assist technologies at Ford, has been named CEO of Latitude. He will be assisted by Peter Carr as the CTO, while David Gollob will serve as president.

Ford is already working on advanced driver assist systems and has a close partnership with Mobileye. This partnership has helped Ford develop the BlueCruise system, which Consumer Reports ranked as the best driver assistance system on the market in January. According to Ford’s data, drivers have accumulated over 50 million miles of hands-free driving using BlueCruise.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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