Argo AI is among the leaders in the race to develop driving systems that eliminate the need to have a human behind the wheel, and soon it may become the first dedicated self-driving technology company to go public.
Bryan Salesky, CEO and founder of Argo AI, said the company plans another round of private fundraising this summer and will then pursue an initial public offering in the coming year. He made the comments on Wednesday during a virtual summit discussing self-driving technology, according to Reuters.
Argo AI is testing prototypes in six cities in the United States. Its main test site is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the company is headquartered, and the company is in the process of adding test sites in Europe. One advantage the company has is an advanced lidar sensor, which it says can see further and more accurately than rival systems.
The company is working closely with Ford and Volkswagen Group, each of which have a 42% stake. Ford is expected to launch its first service using Argo AI technology in 2022 while VW Group plans a service for 2025.
Argo AI’s most recent valuation was $7 billion, announced following a $2.6 billion investment made by VW Group last year.
There are already companies developing self-driving technology that are publicly listed, such as Alphabet, Baidu and Tesla, though all of these have primary businesses focused in other areas. There are also some companies that are developing technology related to self-driving cars, such as Nvidia and Luminar Technologies, that are also publicly listed.