Autonomous driving technology will do more than just free us from driving our own cars. It will also transform many industries in the process and the logistics industry will certainly be one of them. Ford has shown us a glimpse of that future as part of its new partnership with delivery startup Postmates. They’re testing an autonomous on-demand delivery pilot program in Miami and Miami Beach, Florida with some 70 businesses.
The idea here is to have a fleet of self-driving delivery vehicles on the road that can deliver anything from food to hardware, which is what Postmates already does right now but with humans being an essential part of the process.
The pilot will enable the companies to see how businesses and customers will interact with self-driving delivery cars. Employees will receive an access code to put the items inside the car while the customer will get a text message with an access code when their order is ready for pickup. Ford is also experimenting with vehicle designs that include multiple lockers so that these cars can serve multiple customers on the same route.
“Through our collaboration with Postmates, we’re testing different methods for efficient deliveries to help local businesses expand their reach and provide a seamless experience to customers,” Ford says.
The company expects to put its purpose-built autonomous cars on roads by 2021.