Ford bets $1bn on autonomous car start-up

In a bid to win the high-stakes talent war in the budding self-driving car industry, auto giant Ford has decided to bet $1 billion through a majority investment in a start-up company called Argo AI.

Announcing the deal, the American auto giant said that a group of company employees along with its virtual driver system (autonomous vehicles) will join forces with the talent and expertise of Argo AI's founders and their strong experience in robotics.

Argo AI came into existence a few months back when Google car project veteran Bryan Salesky and Uber engineer Peter Rander met while working at Carnegie Mellon University's vaunted robotics & engineering school, and decided to start a new project.

Commenting on the deal, Gartner analyst Mike Ramsey said, "This is a move by Ford to be able to attract and retain talent. They are setting up a structure that allows them to pay big money.for some of these guys who are really hard to get."

Argo AI will have offices in the state of Michigan and California, with an expected workforce of around 200 people by the end of this year.

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based start-up has been structured in such a manner that it can operate independently of Ford, and have the ability to provide its employees with noteworthy equity ownership stakes in the business.