Last October, Ford-backed self-driving technology company Argo AI announced that it was shutting down, a decision that stemmed from The Blue Oval’s strategic shift away from Level 4 and 5 autonomy – which it believes won’t be profitable anytime soon – to Level 2 and 3 tech. Soon after, FoMoCo announced a new entity that will develop its autonomous driving technology – Latitude AI – which utilizes Argo’s former headquarters, testing facility, and even hundreds of its engineers. Now, Ford Authority has spotted what appears to be a Ford Escape Latitude AI test vehicle out driving around, too.
What’s particularly notable about this Ford Escape is the fact that Argo AI also utilized the same type of crossover as a test bed for its self-driving testing endeavors. Argo stopped testing its vehicles back in October following its abrupt closure, but just a few weeks later, Ford Authority also spotted a mysterious Fusion driving around that looks like it could have been a former Argo test vehicle, too, though it’s unclear if that’s actually the case.
Regardless, this new Ford Escape test vehicle looks much like the one that was previously being used by Argo AI as well, and is equipped with a large Lidar system on the roof, along with Ford script on the doors. There are no Latitude AI markings present, but given the fact that it has taken over the development of the automaker’s self-driving efforts, it stands to reason that this vehicle hails from that division.
Ford has been working on developing Level 3 self-driving tech for a while, as Ford Authority previously spotted a Ford F-150 equipped with what appears to be L3 equipment attached to it back in February. Additionally, FoMoCo CEO Jim Farley stated that the company is also working in developing a Level 3 version of its BlueCruise feature last October, though it’s currently unclear when such a system might launch.
We’ll have more on Latitude AI soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.
What happened to my 2023 ford escape that I ordered wayyyyyyyy back in November?????
It was sold to someone who offered a bettrr deal.