Walmart has partnered with carmaker Ford and autonomous vehicle platform company Argo AI to launch the new service. Retail giant Walmart is bringing driverless delivery services to new cities across the US. In Miami, Austin and Washington DC, residents can soon expect to see autonomous cars driving themselves directly to customers' houses, filled with pre-ordered Walmart groceries. The retailer has partnered with carmaker Ford and autonomous vehicle platform company Argo AI to launch the new service. Ford's self-driving test vehicles, equipped with Argo AI's self-driving system, will be delivering Walmart orders to customers.
Walmart will begin testing an autonomous vehicle delivery service this year that will allow customers to place orders online and have their groceries delivered by a driverless car. The pilot program is being launched in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida: and Washington D.C. It's a partnership between the $560-billion mega-retailer and Ford, which will provide Ford Escape hybrids outfitted with Argo AI technology to make the deliveries. Argo AI, a co-venture between Ford and Volkswagen, will provide the cloud-based infrastructure to schedule drop-offs and safely route orders. Focusing on those three metro areas will show'the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale,' said Argo AI founder Bryan Salesky. Initial integration testing is expected to begin later this year, the companies said, and the service initially will be limited to specific areas in each city before being expanded over time.
Ford, Walmart and Argo AI plan to launch autonomous vehicle delivery services in Miami, Austin, Texas and Washington DC later this year, Ford has announced. The service will focus on last mile deliveries and use Ford vehicles equipped with Argo's AI self-driving system to deliver Walmart orders. Don't count on driverless ghost cars pulling up to your house with groceries, however, as Argo emphasized that the new venture is all about "testing" and "potential." "Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where customer demand is high really comes to life with this collaboration," said Argo AI founder and CEO Bryan Salesky. Deliveries will be available in those cities "within defined service areas" and expand over time, Ford said.
For some Walmart customers, online shopping will soon come with an autonomous twist. The retailer will be partnering with Ford and its self-driving unit, Argo AI, to drop off deliveries to customers' homes in Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C. Argo AI has been testing its autonomous vehicles in those cities already, but in the coming months it'll drop off groceries and other supplies customers buy through the Walmart app or website. Autonomous delivery pricing will be the same as Walmart's normal delivery fees. Instead of the usual delivery method in a human-powered vehicle, items will be transported in a self-driving car (with a safety driver up front still). Customers will retrieve bags from the car once it arrives.
Ford Motor Co, Walmart Inc and delivery service Postmates Inc will collaborate to design a service for delivering groceries and other goods to Walmart customers that could someday use autonomous vehicles, the companies said on Wednesday. The project is the latest to grow out of Ford s broader effort to develop businesses that could use automated delivery vehicles. Ford was working with San Francisco-based Postmates already to develop delivery services that could employ automated vehicles. The Walmart pilot, which will take place in the Miami area, initially will use human-driven vehicles operated to simulate how a self-driving vehicle would behave, Ford said. Ford Motor Co, Walmart Inc and delivery service Postmates Inc will collaborate to design a service for delivering groceries and other goods to Walmart customers that could someday use autonomous vehicles, the companies said on Wednesday.