Walmart Goods to Be Delivered by Ford Driverless Cars

Residents of the Miami-Dade County have been getting used to having strange looking cars come up to designated drop-off areas and deliver their food orders for the better part of the year. Thanks to a deal signed in February, Ford delivered through Postmates more than 1,000 times this year.
Ford delivery research vehicle 1 photo
Photo: Ford
The natural evolution of this system is teaming up with a major retailer, and Ford announced just such a move this week.

In the coming months, Ford and Postmates will be testing a delivery service for Walmart, which will eventually lead to an exponential rise in the use of Ford’s technology.

As per the Blue Oval, anything that comes out of Walmart - groceries, diapers, pet food and personal care items – can be delivered to customers through the retailer’s delivery option, one that by the end of the year will cover 800 stores across 100 metropolitan areas.

In the first stages of this pilot program, Ford will not actually deliver anything, but it will try and find out the best way to configure its cars based on consumer preference and the type of goods being carried. Special attention will be paid to perishable goods.

There is no word on what type of cars will be used by Ford in this research project. The initial test conducted with Postmates involved a Transit Connect and was meant to test people’s reaction to the delivery method and their interaction with the car.

The Connect is no regular van, as is equipped with a multi-locker system that grants customers access to the desired products.

An app notifies them on the estimated delivery time for the goods and, once it has arrived, the customer is required to key in a code on the embedded touchscreen. The code is used to unlock the correct locker and have the meal served.

Alongside ride-sharing services, the delivery industry is the other main target of self-driving cars currently being researched by automakers all across the world.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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