Argo AI is its own company poised for IPO — not just a self-driving department at Ford

When two veterans in the self-driving car world with a shared academic lineage at Carnegie Mellon University began a startup to create the “brains” for autonomous vehicles back in late 2016, the scrappy company was virtually unknown.

Then in February 2017, Ford invested $1 billion into the company that Google’s former director of hardware for self-driving tech, Bryan Salesky, had quietly started up with Peter Rander, who was once engineering lead for Uber Advanced Technologies Center in the Strip District.

Argo AI was officially on the map…

But Mr. Rander — the fast-talking president of Argo AI who stands at a desk not behind closed walls but in the open-layout office space with the rest of the company’s engineers — wants to make it clear that the company is not some sort of department at Ford.

Argo is an independent company that will eventually go public on the stock market one day, he said without giving specifics.