Ford, Walmart, Mail Works Autonomous Customer Delivery

MIAMI, Fla.-Ford, Walmart and Delivery Service Postmates will collaborate to design services that could ever use autonomous vehicles to grab food and other goods Walmart customers, the companies said Wednesday.

The project is the most advanced by Ford's efforts to develop a business that automated vehicles can use. Ford has been working on San Francisco-based Postmates to develop delivery services using automated machines. This is a similar partnership with Domino's automatic pizza delivery.

The Walmart pilot, which will be held in the Miami area, will initially use human-driven cars to operate simulate how the self-driving car behave, Ford said. Ford said that by 2021 automobiles will begin commercial production.

Ford and its partners use Miami as a testing ground for automatic delivery service ideas and automated machine technology.

The new pilot project offers customers with the postal cards offered in Walart shops. Ford's autonomous car unit executive Brian Wolf wrote in a blog post that the companies will work within the next few months to find out what goods can be successful, especially fragile groceries.

"Before self-driving cars can be increased, we need to get a better sense of how people want to interact with them," Tom Ward, Walmart Senior Vice President of Digital Operations, said in a statement Thursday.

This may require a new design or technique of vehicles, Wolf wrote. Ford said that works on storing systems on the board are easily broken up to store pizza or packages.

Mail, its website, works in 385 US cities, as well as in Mexico. It offers brick and mortar from restaurants and shops.

Walmart will compete with online retailers and other competitors to cut the cost of delivering commodities what industry executives call the "last pipe" customers who order online.

In the replacement of human drivers with robotic systems, the cost of delivering last pipe may be reduced. But technology is still expensive, and the industry is still waiting for regulations that help auto owners or manufacturers from liability complaints.

Ford highlighted the commercial use of autonomous vehicle technologies such as supply of goods, unlike rival General Motors, which will build one of the robot taxes in its GM group.

Ford is in discussions with Volkswagen AG, which informs about possible investments in its vehicle. No deal was declared.

In July, Ford announced that it would create a new business unit, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, to carry out its own auto transit operations. The automaker declares that he will invest $ 4 billion by 2023.

Joe Whott's report

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