Autonomous vehicle startup Argo AI is to establish a self-driving car research centre at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a project backed by Ford.

Argo AI has agreed to provide around $15m over the next five years for the development of the facility known as Carnegie Mellon University Argo AI Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research.

The centre will carry out research on advanced perception and decision-making algorithms for driverless cars.

According to Argo AI, the research facility will support commercialisation of self-driving technology in real-world environments.

CMU president Farnam Jahanian said: “We are thrilled to deepen our partnership with Argo AI to shape the future of self-driving technologies.

“This investment allows our researchers to continue to lead at the nexus of technology and society, and to solve society’s most pressing problems.

“Together, Argo AI and CMU will accelerate critical research in autonomous vehicles while building on the momentum of CMU’s culture of innovation.”

The announcement follows the launch of Argoverse, a variety of sensor data and high-definition (HD) maps for computer vision and machine learning research to support advanced self-driving technology.

Researchers and faculty working in this centre will use Argoverse to study the impact that HD maps put on perception and forecasting.

In addition, the students at centre will be able to access the fleet-scale data sets, vehicles and large-scale infrastructure, which are vital for advancing self-driving technologies.

Researchers will collaborate to study various technical aspects of driverless car technology, which includes smart sensor fusion, 3D scene understanding, urban scene simulation, and map-based perception.

Outcomes of the research will be published in open scientific literature for use by the entire field.