Ford partners Argo AI, Walmart to launch autonomous vehicle delivery service
Ford Motor Co, self-driving startup Argo AI and Walmart Inc will together launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami, Austin and Washington DC, the companies announced on Wednesday. They also informed that the initial integration testing is expected to begin later this year.
The cloud-based system of the autonomous driving startup will be integrated with Walmart's online ordering platform to schedule package deliveries and route orders.
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Ford's self-driving test vehicles combined with Argo's self-driving system will then deliver the packages to customers.
Tom Ward, senior vice president of last-mile delivery at Walmart in the United States said that this partnership will help the company to deliver their products to the customers before time. "This collaboration will further our mission to get products to the homes of our customers with unparalleled speed," he said.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and a logistics leader, is aggressively pursuing the possibility of delivering its products with the help of autonomous vehicles. The company is also testing driverless delivery with General Motors Co.’s Cruise LLC, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, autonomous delivery startup Nuro, and self-driving delivery company Gatik.
Previously analysts have mentioned that with an increase in online shopping, autonomous delivery has the potential to become a $1 trillion business in the coming years.
General Motors also recently announced an investment worth millions of dollars in a US startup Oculii that will develop software for radar sensors for self-driving cars. The startup's co-founder Steven Hong informed that this investment will allow the automaker to use Oculli's low-cost software to boost the resolution of radars and scale up its partially automated vehicles and fully self-driving cars.