Autonomous start-up Argo AI, automaker Ford Motor Co. and Walmart Inc. will jointly launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami, Austin and Washington, the companies said on Wednesday. [Sept. 15].
The first integration tests are expected to begin later this year, the companies added.
The move comes as consumer expectations turn to next day or same day delivery, especially in urban areas where the concentration of deliveries is higher.
The multi-city service will allow Walmart customers to place online orders for groceries and other popular items for self-delivered door-to-door delivery.
Argo’s cloud-based system will integrate with Walmart’s online ordering platform to route orders and schedule package deliveries. Ford’s autonomous test vehicles equipped with Argo’s autonomous driving system will then deliver the orders to customers.
“This collaboration will strengthen our mission to get products to our customers’ homes with unmatched speed,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile delivery at Walmart in the United States.
Walmart had previously partnered with General Motor’s Cruise on an autonomous delivery pilot project and autonomous vehicle startups Gatik and Nuro to explore delivery via autonomous vehicles.
(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)
Photograph: Photo by Jared Wickerham / Argo AI.
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