Ford and Postmates team up to explore self-driving technologies

Federico Mansilla
Enero 13, 2018

Ford had already established a number of partnerships with other firms in the self-driving vehicle sector, but these have had a focus a bit different from this new one.

Ford has announced a new partnership with the delivery service Postmates centered around the self-driving vehicle sector.

The companies also didn't elaborate on how Postmates customers would receive deliveries - there will likely be someone in the auto - but said users will follow instructions provided via the app.

The companies suggested that self-driving vehicles could particularly help smaller businesses and customers in harder-to-reach locations.

In a slew of announcements made at the CES in Las Vegas this week, the auto maker detailed how it plans to transition into an automotive and mobility company - something it has been talking about for a while. The companies will conduct pilot services throughout the year to evaluate the utility of self-driving technology.

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Through this study, Ford plans to get a better understanding of how customers will want to interact with delivery vehicles and what neighborhoods they'll feel safe walking out to the curb to retrieve a meal.

"We are working to verify that the technology underpinning future self-driving cars operates safely and reliably, to ensure that our self-driving vehicles are created to deliver trusted experiences and to prove out that the business model under which they are deployed is viable", he wrote in a blog post.

Ford will expand its self-driving technology development with a growing fleet of Argo AI test vehicles in a city where it plans to first deploy an autonomous vehicle business. They're powered by a series of partnerships with companies like Postmates, Qualcomm, and Autonomic.

Basically, this will mean that Ford can use its cars for delivering goods and packages, picking up and transporting passengers (and even supplementing public transit system), and sending out food, all with the same cars. GM in November said it will launch self-driving cars for ride-sharing services by 2019, describing the business as potentially raking in profits.

Ford's early partners for its AV service platform include Domino's, Lyft, and, as of today, Postmates.

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