Ford and Volkswagen are major investors in Argo, which is working on technology that will let Ford start an autonomous ride-hailing service. Pittsburgh-based Argo is testing autonomous vehicles with human backup drivers in six U.S. cities.
The deal is the latest in a string of partnerships and consolidation in the autonomous vehicle business. In December, Lyft rival Uber announced it would sell its autonomous vehicle development arm in a stock deal. The buyer is self-driving technology company Aurora. Uber was to invest $400 million in Aurora and hold a 26% stake in the San Francisco company.
In the Phoenix area, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo is already offering a limited fully autonomous ride service. Cruise, General Motors' majority-owned autonomous vehicle unit, also plans autonomous ride-hailing without human backups on an unspecified date.