Ford and Walmart have agreed to partner on the development and rollout of self-driving delivery vehicles.
In collaboration with delivery company Postmates, the pilot will be comprised of human-operated vehicles that deliver Walmart goods in Miami, with the goal of gathering consumer data and zero in on the types of goods that can be delivered.
One of its sub-projects will also consist of refrigeration, with different builds tested to optimize delivery of frozen goods.
Ford is going all in on autonomous vehicles, launching Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, its autonomous driving research and development hub in Detroit, this year. It hopes to tap into immensely high-growth commercial projections for self-driving vehicles, which is estimated to cover roughly 80 percent of all consumer parcel deliveries by 2028, according to a 2016 McKinsey and Company study.
In a recent Medium blog post, Brian Wolf, Ford’s Head of Autonomous Vehicle Business, offered more insight into the project’s growth projections.
“By the end of this year, that option will be available in 800 stores across 100 metropolitan areas around the country,” Wolf wrote. “Next year, the number of stores offering delivery service is expected to double.”
Look for the service to be in full force by 2021.