CMU Grads’ Start-Up Solidifies City’s Position As Driverless Technology Leader

World Headquarters To Be Built In Strip District

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Move over Uber, there’s a new self-driving kid in town.

Ford Motor Company is taking a $1 billion stake in a Pittsburgh start-up called Argo AI, now one of four local companies developing autonomous vehicles.

Tuesday, Argo will be announcing the building of a world headquarters in the Strip District, solidifying Pittsburgh’s position as the world leader in driverless technology.

“That type of investment is coming to Pittsburgh because of the talent and the resources that are here,” Jonathan Kersting, with the Pittsburgh Technical Council, said. “I think it just puts us in the epicenter of what’s going on.”

Not surprisingly, Argo is the brainchild of two graduates from Carnegie Mellon, the university feeding these companies with computer science and robotics graduates who are now commanding astronomical salaries straight out of college.

“Our students who graduate from Carnegie Mellon, they can come to CMU, walk out and get a $200,000, quarter of a million dollar a year job,” said Howie Choset, a professor at CMU’s robotics institute.

Other cities like Ann Arbor, Mich., and Tempe, Ariz., are vying to become the autonomous tech leader, but Choset says they can’t match Pittsburgh.

“We have unique expertise here in Pittsburgh centered around robotics, artificial intelligence and vision,” he said, “and because of that I don’t believe other parts of the country can do was well as we can.”

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