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Self-Driving Car Startup Argo AI Expands in Pittsburgh

Even with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the self-driving car startup may have reason to expand. Earlier this month, it closed on a deal with Volkswagen on a $2.6 billion investment.

A fleet of Argo AI vehicles
Courtesy Argo AI
(TNS) — Argo AI is expanding its presence in the Strip District.

The self-driving car startup is taking more space in the Riverfront West building in the 3 Crossings development in the Strip.

Argo moved its headquarters to the five-story building in 2018. It currently occupies floors four and five, as well as part of the first floor. 

The additional space will be on the third floor, which it will be sharing with Oxford Development Co., the developer behind 3 Crossings. Oxford, which also is headquartered in the 130,500-square-foot building, has about 20,000 square feet of space on the third floor.

Argo spokesman Alan Hall confirmed the firm has leased part of the third floor. “We won’t get into detail beyond that it's office space,” he said.

The company made a big splash in 2017 when it announced it was moving to 3 Crossings from the Crane Building, where it had been operating out of one floor.

At 3 Crossings, Argo — which is aligned with the Ford Motor Co. — joined Apple, the Burns White law firm and Rycon Construction.

Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, the self-driving car startup may have reason to expand.

Earlier this month, it closed on a deal with Volkswagen on a $2.6 billion investment.

As part of the deal first announced last July, Argo will absorb Volkswagen’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving Team. That gave the company an engineering center in Munich, Germany, and brought its total headcount to more than 1,000 employees.

The AID team — a subsidiary of Audi, which is part of the Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen Group — was developing technology to create a universal self-driving system in urban environments.

Argo, founded in 2016, previously had secured a $1 billion investment from Ford.

The expansion lends further credence to the notion the corridor running from the Strip into Lawrenceville has become a robotics row with firms like Argo, Uber Advanced Technologies Group, Honeywell, Apple, Facebook and other robotics and high-tech ventures dotting the landscape.

Aurora Innovation, another autonomous vehicle company now located in Lawrenceville, also is believed to be taking space in the 1600 Smallman Street office project being developed by Chicago-based McCaffery Interests.

The $210 million 3 Crossings project includes four office buildings, a 300-unit apartment complex and a 590-space parking garage.

Oxford has started work on a second phase that could include up to six new office buildings, two apartment buildings and a parking garage with as many as 800 spaces in the booming Strip.

©2020 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.