Dream takes a different path to the skirt, the self-driving challenges

PITTSBURGH/DETROIT (Reuters) – Sky-is-the-limit optimism about self-driving cars, it is more difficult to ask questions about how much the automotive is artificial intelligence ever going to make a profit.

FILE PHOTO: in A Dream, the Ai self-driving prototype vehicle is seen outside of Ford and Volkswagen a joint press conference in New York City, New York, New York, USA, July 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

They are the founders of Today’s AI and the manufacturer partners-Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG VOWG_p.DE) – I bet you that they will be able to answer by taking a different path than the more esteemed rivals. They will send it the way of the construction of a robotaxi fleet, and to focus, instead of getting paid by the mile for customers to make use of robotic vehicles for a number of purposes, including the provision of any goods or for the transport of groups of people in mini-vans.

The self-driving systems, a developer headed by Bryan Salesky, who got his start in the development of automated vehicles is a Department of Defense-sponsored competition 12 years ago, has been at the center of a multibillion-dollar stake in the auto giant partners with autonomous vehicle technology, it should be good for more than the replacement of the drivers.

“I hate the word, robotaxi,” Salesky said in a rare interview with the Today programmes, headquartered in Pittsburgh. “There are a lot of applications, and businesses are being built, and to attempt to understand which ones are more profitable than others.”

In the Dream the business plan hinges on a unique revenue-sharing deal that will pay the Ride fees are based on miles traveled in a self-propelled, Ford, and VW vehicles come equipped with Today’s technology. The Details of this arrangement have not yet been reported.

Today, the financial structure is also different from the rival, autonomous, vehicle-controlled entities. Ford and VW and each and every and just under 40%, and the Argo management team will hold a little more than 20 per cent, according to sources familiar with the company. The Details of the structure have not previously been reported.

Under the prospective commercial applications of the Argo-technology, Long-haul trucks, and the e-commerce delivery, in the transportation of people along fixed routes in the cities, towns, and off-road applications such as mining.

Formed in Pittsburgh by the end of 2016, by the Michigan land Salesky, Chief Operating Officer, Peter Rander, Today, it is housed in a nondescript building in The center of an old warehouse in the market district, with views of the Allegheny River.

Today, the main competitors are primarily intended to ensure the implementation of robotaxis. Waymo, however, it is now in the process of the adjustment of the automatic “driver which is used for commercial vehicles, including Class 8 trucks, Waymo’s Chief Executive, John Krafcik, said.

Today’s plan is to have the automated driving systems, Ford will be launching by the end of 2021 in the three cities in the US, probably with the help of a compact, shuttle service, based on the redesigned Ford Transit Connect.

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VW executives revealed to Reuters that they expect you to follow it or 2022 to 2023, with a VW-designed all-electric vehicles, which can be used in the first instance, in the German automaker’s Moia drive business.

Ford executive Jim Farley said at a Detroit conference in November, the No. 2 U.S. automaker was exploring the applications for Today technology and it would be more logical than to robotaxis,” which refers to the automated material delivery to transactions, on a subscription-based service.

In addition to the implementation of a Ride-equipped vehicles in its own private ride services, fleets, VOLKSWAGEN has not received interest from any other trip from and to the transport companies involved in the purchase of a VW vehicle is equipped with the Argo system, ” says Thomas Sedran, the head of VW’s commercial vehicles and is the manufacturer of the autonomous vehicle initiative.

This can be a different way to Ride, and its partners, in order to make money, if the technology finds its way into more and more vehicles, and the number of miles and multiply it.

“The details of the specific circumstances, and for how many cents per mile are we talking about and what is the share of the revenue? That is, it is still open,” Sedran said. At this stage, we are still working on that technology to generate revenue.”

Salesky said, Today’s self-driving technology could be adapted to a wide variety of vehicle types, sizes, and uses, “This is going to be a multi-stage thing where there are a number of different platforms and different companies as well.”

Some of the competitors are not convinced that the Argo has the advantage.

“We didn’t start from scratch,” said Glen De Vos, chief technology officer at Aptiv, which will strengthen its in-house expertise, by means of the acquisition of the self-driving start-ups nuTonomy and Ottomatika.

The Fox pointed at Aptiv of the partnership with Lyft is testing self-driving vehicles will be the last in Las Vegas, the drive from the network, said Today, “it is not the part of engineering capability that Aptiv has.”

Investors have so far been assigned Today to a lower value than it robotaxi-oriented class. Waymo is valued at $105 billion, while on a Cruise and had a valuation of $19 billion in its latest funding round.

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Today, the valuation of which is estimated at $7.25 billion, following Volkswagen’s $1.9 billion in investments to the tune of a $7.25 billion valuation, Uber Technologies, Advanced Technologies Group, for the ride services, company, self-moving unit.

Salesky, he said, and Rander are open to bringing in other investors and partners in the business community: “the more diversity, the better, but it needs to be an addition to the portfolio that we have been in the building, Ford’s and VW’s.”

“But we also know that this is the beginning of the day,” he added. “The sport hasn’t really begun yet.”

Reporting by Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Tom Brown

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