Ford and Postmates Will Test Autonomous Delivery Vehicles


Jim Farley, Ford Executive Vice President and President, Global Markets announced that Ford will begin testing its self-driving cars in an unnamed new city this year.

Ford Motors will partner with the delivery service Postmates as the auto manufacturer continues its slow march towards developing self-driving vehicles.

However, Postmates did point out that it is not looking to eradicate the human factor from its delivery equation: "While we're excited to research the potential of self-driving technology, it's important to note that our walkers, drivers, and bicyclists make up the largest on-demand delivery fleet in the country - and they will always be core to our platform".

Founded out of San Francisco in 2011, Postmates now supplies in many major cities across the U.S. and Canada, making around 2.5m deliveries each month.

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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Ford unveiled a suite of announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show today that are aimed at furthering the company's ambitions to power smart cities and find new applications for autonomous vehicles. Its appeal is offering on-demand deliveries to customers who are short on time.

These connected vehicles are the foundation for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) infrastructure, the company said, which would allow cars to communicate with each other as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic lights. The company is also interested in discovering how to design delivery-only vehicles.

Ford has announced a partnership with chipmaker Qualcomm to push the adoption of cellular vehicle-to-everything technology (C-V2X).

For Ford, it highlights its interests into the operations of cities. They're powered by a series of partnerships with companies like Postmates, Qualcomm, and Autonomic.