First Pizzas, Now Groceries. Is Autonomous Delivery Upon Us?
It wasn’t too long ago that Ford was trialling a self-driving pizza delivery service in Miami, and now it is partnering with Walmart, the world’s largest company (by revenue) as well as Postmates, a logistics company in the US of A, to test the concept of self-driving grocery delivery.
The test project, which is also being carried out in Miami, gives us look into the future, in which current industries—ie. logistics—are completely changed by autonomous tech. Ford is developing more than just a self-driving vehicle—which is targetted to launch in 2021, a.k.a. very soon—but is building an entire fleet of autonomous vehicles and sending it out into the real world.
The American automaker has already completed more than 1,000 deliveries under Argo AI, a start-up in which Ford has invested US$1 billion. The trial will allow Ford to understand the business of grocery delivery and iron out the kinks, such as what goods can or cannot be self-delivered, whether special features (eg. a fridge) are required for perishables, how many orders can one vehicle carry, and so forth.
Walmart, meanwhile, has not tied itself down to just one self-driving-carmaker. It has also partnered with Google’s Waymo in another pilot project in the Phoenix area to pick up customers in autonomous Chrysler Pacifica mini-vans and send them to the Walmart store. It is also in the same area that Waymo is set to launch its driverless taxi service soon—no, not another test; an actual commercial service, with no driver in the car:
What next? Delivery via drone? Oh wait, someone’s already doing that:
Well, guess we’ll never ever have to leave the house for food or groceries or anything for that matter. See you again, never!