In 2017, artificial intelligence is everyone’s business, including automotive giant Ford. On Friday, the company announced its investment in a startup AI firm, Argo AI. They’re investing a whopping US$1bn in the company over the next five years, in a move to combine Ford’s own autonomous vehicle development expertise with Argo AI’s robotics experience and startup speed on artificial intelligence software.

Why’s this news? Argo AI was founded by former Google and Uber leaders, so they know about artificial intelligence and how it can be applied to automotive challenges. The goal here is to have the best minds available working inside and outside Ford to develop for the company’s autonomous vehicle scheduled for 2021.

What will this mean for us? Ford’s research and development on autonomous vehicles is well advanced, as is the R&D effort at other manufacturers as well. Tesla, for example, are well advanced with their self-drive program available to their newest electric vehicles, but we’re destined to see more of this, and soon.

If Ford’s moves are anything to go by, the boom in interest in AI this year won’t be confined to electronics in and around the home, it’ll be in our cars and out and about as well.

We can’t wait to see what developments arise from this partnership, and more broadly, what new and exciting things we’ll see on the artificial intelligence field this year.

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