Argo AI, Ford and Walmart will deliver groceries in three American cities with autonomous Ford cars. The first test is yet to begin this year. The groceries are delivered to consumers at home on the same day as the order or on the next day.
The three companies will use Ford passenger cars for the test. These are equipped with self-driving functions by Argo AI and will receive extra sensors, especially on the roof, to be able to see the environment. Customers should be able to place orders with Walmart, which will then be delivered with the Fords. It is not clear whether customers will have to pay extra for this.
The first test will begin later this year and will be limited to predefined areas within the cities of Austin, Miami and Washington DC. These areas should grow in the future to allow more customers to use the service. The participating companies focus on large cities, because there would be a greater concentration of deliveries here.
With the project, the parties want to test the delivery of groceries with autonomous cars, show the potential of self-driving cars and investigate the self-driving cars themselves. For the trial, Argo’s system will be integrated into Walmart’s online ordering platform so that deliveries can be scheduled.
Although the cars will drive independently, someone must still be behind the wheel for safety, The Verge writes. Argo AI and Ford have been working together for some time. For example, the two companies want to introduce an autonomous taxi service in 2022. Argo AI also cooperates with Volkswagen.