Ford will test with Walmart delivery by driverless car

Ford will partner with Walmart to test ways to deliver groceries by driverless car, as the Detroit carmaker struggles to dispel the perception it is trailing rival General Motors in the race to make money from autonomous vehicles. The carmaker announced yesterday that it would set up a pilot programme with Walmart and Postmates, the delivery start-up, to “explore how self-driving vehicles can deliver many everyday goods such as groceries, diapers, pet food and personal care items”. Ford is looking at different types of partnerships to help build a self-driving car business… Ford is using a fleet of what it calls “simulated autonomous vehicles” to deliver pizzas in Miami. The cars are driven by a human whose presence is disguised to make the vehicle appear driverless. The goal is to gather information about how consumers and retail staff interact with the vehicles of the future that lack a human operator. Walmart has a grocery delivery service that it expects to be available by the end of this year in 800 stores across 100 metropolitan areas in the US, with the number of stores set to double next year. Ford said it had made more than 1,000 deliveries as part of the initial phase of building its driverless business.

Patti Waldmeir