Ford, Walmart, and Postmates announced on Wednesday that they are working together in Florida on a pilot scheme exploring grocery delivery using self-driving vehicles.
Exploring the potential of self-driving vehicles
In a post on Ford’s Medium page Brian Wolf, Director of Business Development at Ford Autonomous Vehicles, wrote:
Through this collaboration, we are exploring how self-driving vehicles can deliver many everyday goods such as groceries, diapers, pet food and personal care items. Enabled by Postmates delivery as a service, we were able to quickly set up a pilot program that explores how our self-driving vehicles can complement Walmart’s existing delivery offerings.
The firms are working together to “identify what goods we can feasibly transport, and pinpoint any issues that may need to be addressed to successfully deliver orders via self-driving vehicles.”
Tom Ward, Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Digital Operations, said that his firm “want to make sure we stay on the cutting edge of grocery delivery by exploring what’s new and next.”
Expanding what Walmart and Ford offer
By the end of this year, Walmart’s delivery option will be available in 800 stores in 100 metropolitan areas. This number will double during 2019. Ford has already undertaken 1,000 deliveries as it works to develop its self-driving business.
In February, the firm announced that it would be working with Miami-Dade County in Florida on a pilot using self-driving vehicles. The pilot with Walmart will take place in the same area.
Postmates is an on-demand delivery firm. Users can order a delivery or a pickup using the free iOS app.