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Volkswagen, Ford to collaborate on self-driving cars?

by Ronan Glon

Ford-backed Argo is at the center of the rumor.

The partnership Volkswagen and Ford announced during the 2019 Detroit auto show could extend to self-driving cars, according to a recent report.

Officially, the two auto-makers are simply joining forces to develop and manufacture commercial vehicles. Sources familiar with the talks told Bloomberg that Volkswagen could work with Argo AI, a Ford-backed company that's developing self-driving cars. Volkswagen could also invest in the firm, which anonymous insiders said could be worth up to $4 billion.

Neither party commented on the report. Contacted by Bloomberg, representatives for both companies confirmed the talks were on-going without shedding light on the topics being discussed. The publication believes Volkswagen and Ford would each own the technology developed by Argo, but nothing is official at this point and an agreement hasn't been signed.

Volkswagen is already developing its own technology for self-driving cars. And, in 2018 it announced it had teamed up with Aurora -- another company developing autonomous tech, and one of Argo's rivals -- to develop and test self-driving cars in California and in Germany. Meanwhile, Ford is also working on the technology; time will tell how (and if) all of these pieces will come together.

Bloomberg reports that a deal could be finalized in the coming months if Volkswagen and Ford find common ground.

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