Ford Is Teaming Up With Postmates To Test Self-Driving Delivery Service
This should be an interesting partnership.
Ford’s latest autonomous delivery test is underway, as the automaker has partnered with Postmates, to operate a self-driving delivery service.
In a blog post, Alexandra Ford English, a member of the Ford Autonomous Vehicle Business Team, said the research vehicles for the pilots are designed to look like they are self-driving, but are manually driven by a driver, with the focus of the research on the first and last mile of the delivery experience.
“Our Postmates pilot is currently underway in Miami and Miami Beach with more than 70 businesses participating, including local favorites like Coyo Taco,” wrote Ford English in the post. “For residents in the area, when you order tacos — or almost anything, really — through Postmates, you may be given the option to have your items delivered by a self-driving research vehicle.”
The trial is all about researching how people interact with (what look like) self-driving vehicles on both sides of the delivery process. That should help Ford identify and address issues with autonomous deliveries. The company is testing self-driving technology in separate vehicles.
Customers who order from the service will have to interact with the vehicle to retrieve their orders. When the meal is ready for delivery, a restaurant employee places the order in a locker system in the car, which will keep the food secure.
Ford’s pilot in Miami is an expansion of its partnership with Dominos in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Miami, Florida, which kicked off in August 2017. The shuttles in that program feature a slightly different design and are equipped with GPS that customers can use to track the delivery process.