Ford partner Argo AI begins autonomous vehicle testing in Detroit

Argo is testing its latest generation of autonomous tech.

Ford partner Argo AI announced on Wednesday that it has deployed a fleet of its third-generation self-driving test vehicles on the streets of Detroit. The Motor City is Argo's fifth major city testbed, with the others being Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Miami and Washington, D.C.

Argo's self-driving vehicles are operating in and around Detroit's downtown Corktown neighborhood, which is also the home to Ford's self-driving operations. The area will also soon house a Ford innovation hub in the former Michigan Central Station.

Like those that came before it, Argo's third-generation autonomous test vehicle is based on the Ford Fusion sedan. Improvements over version 2.0 include higher resolution cameras for better long-range vision, a faster computing system, upgraded software and improved thermal management.

Additionally, Argo has added redundant steering and braking systems in case of a malfunction with the primary systems. If something does go wrong, those backup systems will be able to safely bring the vehicle to a stop.

Argo says its gen-three vehicles are "a step closer to production specification,” but there's no concrete timeline for when the company's technology will be available to the general public. However, that could happen sooner rather than later with Ford reportedly nearing a deal to partner with Volkswagen on autonomous tech.

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