Ford, Argo AI and Walmart are to work together on the launch of an autonomous vehicle-based delivery service in Miami, (Florida) Austin (Texas) and Washington, DC — marking the start of Walmart’s first multi-city autonomous delivery collaboration in the USA. The last-mile delivery service will use Ford self-driving test vehicles equipped with the Argo AI Self-Driving System to deliver Walmart orders to customers.
“Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where customer demand is high really comes to life with this collaboration,” said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO, Argo AI. “Working together with Walmart and Ford across three markets, we’re showing the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale.”
The commercial service will be available to Walmart customers within defined service areas of the three markets and will expand over time, with initial integration testing slated to begin later this year. As consumer expectations continue to shift to next-day or same-day delivery — especially in the urban core where there is a higher concentration of deliveries — it is hoped the collaboration will enhance learning around how autonomous technology can enhance customer experiences, while also optimizing logistics and operations.
“Argo and Ford are aggressively preparing for large-scale autonomous vehicle operations across a broad footprint of US cities,” said Scott Griffith, CEO, Ford 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’s cloud-based infrastructure will integrate with Walmart’s online ordering platform to route orders and schedule package deliveries to customers’ homes.