Ford and Postmates team up on self-driving deliveries

14 January, 2018, 11:14 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Getty Images									SOURCE Getty Images

Through this study, Ford plans to get a better understanding of how customers will want to interact with delivery vehicles and what neighborhoods they'll feel safe walking out to the curb to retrieve a meal.

Ford and delivery service Postmates are announcing a pilot partnership to investigate how self-driving vehicles can start bringing in cash.

Ford's Jim Varley, EVP and President of Global Markets, announced the news during the automaker's keynote address at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

The program is created to help identify how Postmates can properly integrate with Ford's autonomous driving platform from a technical perspective, but it will also allow them to test things like user interface, interaction models and customer experience for autonomous on-demand delivery.

That's just one piece of Ford's overall strategy, though: The company will be deploying autonomous vehicles in more cities this year as part of a pilot program based on a new software platform the company has been developing.

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Tests are scheduled to begin by the end of March.

Postmates offers on-demand delivery from small businesses to area residents. This is important for applications like autonomous cars, because C-V2X vehicles would be able to do things like communicate intent to other vehicles around them, which could then respond accordingly. One day earlier, Toyota teased a self-driving Pizza Hut and Amazon vehicle created to make deliveries and serve as a mobile store.

As well as ride sharing applications, the auto maker is also eyeing goods delivery.

Ford is working with Qualcomm to connect autonomous vehicles with pedestrians, traffic signals and cyclists.

As well as piloting the vehicle technology, the tests will allow Ford to test its new partnership platform which may underpin its future business model. They'd need to carry a smartphone with them at all times in order for the autonomous vehicle to identify them.

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