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Self-Driving Startup Argo AI Lays Off 5% of Its Employees

Argo AI startup, a self-driving technology firm backed by Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, announced on Thursday that it had to reduce its workforce by laying off about 150 of its employees.
Autonomous Argo AI-powered Ford Fusion 6 photos
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The young driverless company seems to have ramped up too quickly, and now, amid rising fears of recession, was forced to give the sack to a part of its workforce. According to TechCrunch, Argo had reached a global workforce of more than 2,000, but now it’s planning to slow the pace of hiring.

“With incredible growth and progress made in our mission to deploy driverless vehicles, we are making prudent adjustments to our business plan to best continue on a path for success,” the company explained.

The recent layoffs account for around 5% of Argo’s total staff and affected jobs include talent recruiters, digital media, communications employees, as well as jobs in the operations teams.

A source familiar with the company’s plans told TechCrunch that Argo AI still has a series of positions open, so they are still looking for talent to hire, but not at the same rapid pace. Engineering, legal, technical program management, and fleet operations positions are open at the moment.

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI was founded in 2016 and has been growing rapidly since then, especially thanks to an initial $1 billion (0.98 billion Euro) investment from Ford in 2017 and a $2.6 billion (2.55 billion Euro) investment from Volkswagen in 2020.

In May of this year, Argo launched test operations of its self-driving vehicles in Miami and Austin, Texas, without a human safety driver on board.

The company’s autonomous system is also undergoing testing with the public in pilot programs with Lyft Inc. and Walmart Inc. in Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C.

The self-driving startup aims to deploy 1,000 driverless vehicles in six cities in the United States in the next few years. And besides the layoffs, Argo confirms that its plans to commercialize the technology for Ford and VW remain on track.

 
 
 
 
 

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