Ford and VW-backed Self-Driving Company Shut Down DC Operations
Argo AI, the self-driving company backed by Ford and Volkswagen, has announced that it is shutting down its operations in Washington D.C.
The company, which was initially founded in 2016, had reportedly been testing its autonomous vehicles in D.C. since 2018. The shutdown of its D.C. operations comes as a part of a larger restructuring plan that Argo AI has been implementing in recent months.
A Shift in Focus
According to a statement released by Argo AI, the company is shifting its focus to testing its self-driving vehicles in areas that are more conducive to their development. As a result, the company has reportedly begun to scale back operations in certain cities, including D.C.
“While we have enjoyed testing our autonomous vehicles in D.C., we have decided to shift our focus to other areas that are better suited for our development and testing needs,” the statement read.
A Difficult Time for Self-Driving Companies
The news of Argo AI’s shutdown in D.C. comes amid a difficult time for many self-driving companies. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper on many testing and development efforts, forcing companies to scale back or pause their operations altogether.
Additionally, the industry has faced increased scrutiny in recent months after several high-profile accidents involving self-driving vehicles. This has prompted many companies to take a more cautious approach to their testing and development efforts.
What’s Next for Argo AI?
Despite the shutdown of its D.C. operations, Argo AI says that it remains committed to its goal of developing self-driving cars. The company has been testing its autonomous vehicles in several other cities, including Pittsburgh, Miami, and Palo Alto.
“We are confident that our continued innovation and development efforts will help us achieve our vision of making self-driving cars a reality,” the statement from Argo AI concluded.
While the shutdown of its D.C. operations may be a setback for Argo AI, the company remains optimistic about its future prospects. With backing from two of the world’s largest automakers, Ford and Volkswagen, Argo AI is well-positioned to continue its development efforts and bring self-driving cars to consumers in the not-too-distant future.
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