Chalk up another pilot program using autonomous vehicles for delivery as Argo AI, Ford Motor Company and Walmart are collaborating on a new last mile service.
The service will use Ford’s self-driving test vehicles equipped with Argo AI’s self-driving system to deliver groceries and other goods to Walmart customers. The Argo system will integrate with Walmart’s online ordering platform to route orders and schedule package deliveries to homes.
The program will focus on three urban markets where the companies believe that customer demand will be high. The goal is to show the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale to large cities.
The multi-city service will enable customers to place orders for groceries and other goods online for door-to-door autonomous delivery directly to customers’ homes. The service will only be available for the three markets and will expand over time with testing to begin later this year.
“Argo and Ford are aggressively preparing for large-scale autonomous vehicle operations across a broad footprint of U.S. cities,” said Scott Griffith, CEO of Ford’s autonomous vehicles and mobility businesses. “Pairing Walmart’s retail and e-commerce leadership with Argo and Ford’s self-driving operations across these multiple cities marks a significant step toward scaling a commercial goods delivery service that will ultimately power first-to-scale business efficiencies and enable a great consumer experience.”
Argo and Ford have already tested the self-driving technology in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Palo Alto, California. They have already been operating in Miami and Washington D.C. since 2018 and in Austin since 2019.