Ford Testing On-Demand Autonomous Delivery with Postmates in Florida
【Summary】Ford is working with Postmates, an on-demand delivery platform, to operate a self-driving delivery service in Florida. Ford announced it’s testing autonomous delivery vans to gauge how customer react and interact with the self-driving Ford Connect vans.
Ford is working with Postmates, an on-demand delivery platform, to operate a self-driving delivery service in Florida. Ford announced it's testing autonomous delivery vans to gauge how customer react and interact with the self-driving Ford Connect vans. However there is a catch, the vans are not really self-driving yet.
The research vehicles for Ford's pilot are designed to appear as self-driving, but they are manually driven by an experienced driver. The focus of Ford's research is on the first and last mile of the delivery experience. The automaker is developing its self-driving technology in separate test vehicles.
The pilot with Ford and Postmates pilot is underway in Miami and Miami Beach with more than 70 businesses participating. During the pilot, local residents that order food using Postmates may be offered the option to have their items delivered by a Ford self-driving research vehicle. In addition to Miami, Postmates operates in over twenty major cities across the U.S.
The Ford Transit Connects vans are equipped with a locker system for each customer's order. Once the van arrives at the delivery location, a customer unlocks the secure compartment using a smartphone app to receive their order. This locker setup allows the autonomous van to serve multiple customers along each delivery route.
To accommodate many different packages and sizes, the rear and passenger-side lockers are different sizes to allowing Ford to test optimal vehicle configurations for the vans. More importantly, Ford is testing testing how businesses and the public interact with a self-driving vehicle.
After the restaurant employee types his access code into the screen, one of the lockers will automatically open so that he can place the food inside. Each locker has two cup holders to hold beverages during transit. When the vehicle arrives at its destination, the customer receives a text notification indicating the delivery is ready for pickup.
Upon meeting the vehicle at the curb, consumers enter an access code into the touch screen and the appropriate locker will open. Audio prompts direct the interaction and lights will illuminate the designated locker. Ford is making interactions with the vehicle as easy as possible through various sensory technologies built into the Transit Connect van.
This is Ford's first self-driving research vehicle modified specifically to test a variety of customer interfaces, including the the touch screen, the locker system and external audio system that will be part of the self-driving vehicle scheduled to arrive in 2021.
In addition to the pilot with Postmates, Ford announced in March that it's working with pizza chain Dominos to test a self-driving pizza delivery service in Miami using Ford's Fusion sedan.
The pizza delivery is another part of the autonomous delivery services Ford hopes to roll out by 2021, as it looks to expand its mobility services.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
Electric Vehicle Startup Rivian Shares an Update on its Illinois Factory That Was Once Owned by Mitsubishi Motors
Amid the Coronavirus Crisis in the U.S., the Trump Administration Moves Forward on Rolling Back Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards
Exor to Invest $200 million for a 9% Stake in Ride-Hailing Company Via Transportation
Air Taxi Startup Lilium Raises $240 Million in Fundraising Round Led By Tencent
Self-Driving Truck Startup TuSimple Announced Partnership with Auto Supplier ZF for the Production of Autonomous Trucks
Baidu is Building a 5G-Powered, 20 Square Kilometer Test Site for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles in Chongqing, China
Production of the Electric Performance Polestar 2 Begins in China
Chinese Automaker Geely is Delivering Keys by Drone for New Vehicle Purchases
- ChargePoint is Installing EV Chargers at 4,000 Truck Stops Across America
- Cerence Inc Partners with HERE Technologies to Bring AI-Powered Voice Access to Maps & Navigation
- Electrify America to Open its 400th EV Charging Station in the U.S. This Week
- Tesla is Without the Federal EV Tax Credit for the First Time Since the Introduction of the Model S in 2012
- Ford to Use Seat Ventilation Fans From F-150 to Make Respirators
- The BMW iX3 All-electric Crossover Will Get More Range Than Power
- The Coronavirus is Disrupting Auto Manufacturing in Mexico and Europe as Parts Shipments From China Slow
- Volkswagen is Exploring Ways to Use its EV Batteries to Power the Grid
- The NHTSA Will Review a Petition to Investigate Sudden Acceleration Complaints on Tesla Vehicles
- EV Charging Operator EVgo Announces the Opening of its 800th Fast Charging Location