The American car manufacturer Ford is now cooperating with Walmart. This is not the first instance of such an agreement. Before Ford, the Google sister Waymo had already started to work together with the supermarket chain Walmart. The deal involves a trip to the supermarket to pick up your purchases after shopping online. Ford already has some experience with delivery services previous from cooperatins with Postmates and Domino’s Pizza. The cooperation with Walmart will also involve the delivery of groceries. Like Waymo and Walmart, Ford’s goal is to strengthen the online market. In their case, however, the groceries are delivered to the buyers after the purchase.
It is not the first cooperation between a supermarket chain and a provider of autonomous driving. The supermarket chain Kroger has begun cooperating with Nuro and GrubMarket with Auto X - which also involves the delivery of the purchases. There are already several such agreements in China, too, and it can be expected that this development will soon spread to Germany as well.
The advantage of the delivery of food by autonomous vehicles is the absence of drivers, which accounts for a large part of the costs. But we are not quite there yet. It will be a few more years, until this is truly established.
Further global cooperations planned
Besides the autonomous deliveries, Ford is planning to introduce autonomous driving and wants to cooperate with the German car manufacturer Volkswagen. Automated Ford models will be available by 2021. The tests are currently being carried out mainly in Miami in the US state of Florida, and a test fleet has recently been set up in the US capital Washington D.C. In China, Ford is cooperating with the Internet giant Baidu. This is why it has recently become possible to carry out tests in the Chinese capital Beijing. This, however, does not put Ford at the forefront of development. The industry leader Waymo will be launching the world’s first commercial robotic taxi service in the US state of Arizona this year.
About the author:
David Flora is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: http://www.autonomes-fahren.de