January 23, 2018

Ford and Postmates Will Test Autonomous Delivery Vehicles

13 January 2018, 02:39 | Edward Lowe

Ford to partner with Postmates on self-driving deliveries

Ford revs up self-driving car and smart city plans

But since then, Ford's self-driving ambitions have been overshadowed by the perception that GM leads in the future of cars.

Ford also outlined its vision for autonomous vehicles today, starting with a partnership announcement with Postmates.

Postmates signed off its blog with the upbeat message: "As self-driving vehicle technology begins to impact communities and urban transportation, we're excited to work with Ford to see how this breakthrough technology can be applied as a force for good in local economies".

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Here's more from the Reuters coverage: "Ford will expand delivery partners beyond Dominos Pizza and San Francisco-based Postmates, Farley said".

In a slew of announcements made at the CES in Las Vegas this week, the auto maker detailed how it plans to transition into an automotive and mobility company - something it has been talking about for a while. The company says it operates in over 250 cities and makes about 2.5 deliveries per month. Its appeal is offering on-demand deliveries to customers who are short on time. One day earlier, Toyota teased a self-driving Pizza Hut and Amazon vehicle created to make deliveries and serve as a mobile store.

Ford isn't saying yet which city will prove its new testing ground for its autonomous fleet (it'll have more on that subject as the plan matures later this year), but it did confirm to me that the city selected will also be one where it plans to eventually deploy its fleet in a commercial capacity, too. The company is also interested in discovering how to design delivery-only vehicles.

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Opening the presentation, CEO Jim Hackett highlighted the potential for autonomous vehicles and associated technology to "disrupt" modern transportation systems by decreasing congestion and pollution in cities and promoting civic life. Traffic signals would know when vehicles approach, and traffic lights could react accordingly, ensuring drivers won't unnecessarily be held up at intersections.

But the technology would add a new burden for pedestrians and cyclists.

In an op-ed, Executive Director of Connected Vehicle and Services Don Butler indicated that the technology would not require a cellular subscription or traditional wireless network.

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