10 Best Startups to Watch 2019

Fostering a self-driving system built on trust and tenacity: Argo AI


“Self-driving is a hard challenge. Together, we act with the urgency to win while always putting safety first.”

When you think of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications in the automotive industry, you might first think of self-driving cars. But AI can do more than drive. It can keep us connected, on schedule, and safe even when we are driving ourselves. Before the automotive industry is comfortable letting AI take the wheel, it first wants to put it in the co-pilot’s seat.

AI lends itself perfectly to powering advanced safety features for connected vehicles. And that helps customers, manufacturers, and regulators get comfortable with AI as the driver before it gets its own license to drive. By monitoring dozens of sensors, AI can identify dangerous situations. It can then alert the driver, or take emergency control of the vehicle in order to avoid an accident. Emergency braking, cross-traffic detectors, blind-spot monitoring, and driver-assist steering can help avoid accidents and save lives in the process.

One such firm which is utilizing AI in the automotive sector is Argo AI

Argo AI is a technology platform company that is working with leading automakers to deliver a fully integrated self-driving system that can be manufactured at scale for safe and reliable deployment in ride-sharing and goods delivery services. Argo AI is building self-driving technology to improve the way the world moves. Since 2016, they have partnered with leading companies in the automotive sector to make vehicles safer, more affordable, convenient, and accessible for everyone -- regardless of age or ability to get behind the wheel.

Main Objective

The firm is on a mission to improve the way the world moves by making transportation safer, more affordable, convenient, and accessible for everyone.

Guiding Principles

A Commitment to the Best in Engineering

It takes commitment to high-quality, disciplined engineering in order to make this technology available at scale. The company is designing and building an automotive-grade self-driving system from the ground up, suitable for commercial operation.

Extensive Testing

Through simulation and real-world testing on closed courses and public roads, the firm puts its technology through the world’s most rigorous driving school every day.

Prioritizing Experience

No one likes a bumpy ride. Argo AI is payingclose attention to the experience they deliver by designing a system that is safe and confident. No abrupt stops – unless needed to ensure safety. They drive with the flow of traffic.

The Team

The firm has a team which is dedicated to each aspect of their technology, from building advanced mapping and data management tools to developing the prediction algorithms that help our self-driving vehicles navigate dense urban areas with confidence.

The Developing Process

Argo AI is developing “self-driving” technology according to the strictest interpretation of what the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) calls “Level 4” automation: a system that can drive a vehicle — under specific conditions — that does not require passenger supervision.

The Testing Process

Development Testing

You can’t build a self-driving system without first knowing how individual parts work, so the first place we test anything is in a lab. From the radar, camera and lidar sensors to the computer hardware and software running on it, everything is individually tested, then tested as a system.

Simulation Testing

Here, the firm creates a virtual world where they test out a wide variety of scenarios and simulate environments as small as a single street to as large as an entire city, into which they put virtual cars running our software to the test. This is called regression testing, and it’s absolutely essential to developing a self-driving system robust enough for human passengers.

Closed Course Testing

Once the self-driving software has passed simulation testing, then the vehicle is taken to a private track staffed by trained professionals called Test Specialists. A closed course allows us to safely test whether software behaves as it did in simulation. Once the software passes closed-course testing, it’s time to begin testing on the street.

Real-World Testing

It’s not just to try out our software to see how it behaves — that’s what closed-course testing is for. It’s because the world is more complicated than any simulation or track can ever be, and real products have to be tested in the real world.

Testing on public roads is a privilege that the firm takes very seriously. They start by abiding by all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines in the cities where they operate. Argo AI tests in multiple cities because every city is different.

The Preeminent leader behind the glory of Argo AI

Bryan Salesky serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Argo AI. Bryan is passionate about incorporating promising robotics technology into products and systems that will improve safety and productivity while enhancing people’s lives. While at Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), Bryan managed a portfolio of the center’s largest commercial programs, including autonomous mining trucks for Caterpillar.

In 2007, Bryan led software engineering for Tartan Racing, Carnegie Mellon’s winning entry in the DARPA Urban Challenge. Bryan departed NREC and joined the Google self-driving car team in 2011 to continue the push toward making self-driving cars a reality. While at Google, Bryan was responsible for the development and manufacture of its hardware portfolio, which included self-driving sensors, computers, and several vehicle development programs. Bryan graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in 2002.

“In time, our self-driving system — always vigilant, always learning, never forgetful — will become a better driver than any human.”