June 12, 2019 / 10:07 AM / 13 days ago

Ford launches testing of new self-driving fleet in Detroit

FILE PHOTO: The Ford logo is seen on a vehicle at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co’s majority owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary, Argo AI, launched its new fleet of self-driving test vehicles - Ford Fusion Hybrid - in Detroit on Wednesday, expanding its presence to five U.S. cities.

The new cars are equipped with upgraded sensors, including radars and cameras with higher resolution and range, the company said.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker is in talks with German car maker Volkswagen AG to develop self-driving vehicles as its autonomous vehicles unit competes for investment and engineering talent with peers as well as technology companies.

The Ford subsidiary is competing with Alphabet’s Waymo robotaxi unit, General Motors’ majority owned Cruise robotaxi business, and self-driving car software startup Aurora, which just announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Uber’s self driving vehicle project, among others.

Argo already operates vehicles in Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Miami and Washington D.C.

(Corrects fourth paragraph of this story to show Aurora is a standalone firm and not a unit of General Motors.)

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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