Ford acquires military robotics startup to join self-driving team

Quantum Signal is said to have extensive experience with simulation and algorithm development.

Ford has acquired Quantum Signal, a Michigan-based military robotics startup, to help develop autonomous vehicles.

The automaker says Quantum Signal has operated in "relative obscurity" since its founding in 1999, helping the military develop software for remotely controlling robotic vehicles from thousands of miles away. The company also created a simulation environment that can be used for virtually testing autonomous vehicle designs.

"To further advance its goal of launching a self-driving vehicle business, Ford has acquired Quantum Signal and will make use of its extensive experience in real-time simulation and algorithm development to develop its Transportation as a Service (TaaS) platform, as well as vehicle controls that support the customer experience, functional safety and other vehicle systems," Ford's CTO of autonomous vehicles, Randy Visintainer, wrote in a blog post.

The Blue Oval recently teamed with Volkswagen to collaborate on autonomous vehicles, jointly investing in Ford's Argo AI subsidiary. The recent tie-ups and acquisitions reflect an industry trend as major automakers join forces to bring the technology to market.

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