Ford and Walmart to trial driverless grocery deliveries
Ford and Walmart are collaborating on a driverless delivery service for groceries and other household items, according to Walmart US.
Tom Ward, Senior Vice President, Digital Operations, Walmart U.S. announced the project on the company’s website, as Walmart looks to steal an edge in its ongoing battle with Amazon.
No provisional dates have yet been given to the final roll out of the project that will see driverless cars connecting the retail giant to its US customers.
Ward explained: “Retail is changing at a rapid pace, and what’s ‘easy’ in 2018 might feel old-fashioned in 2028. In fact, Walmart is already offering grocery delivery in nearly 100 metro areas and is continuing to innovate to find new ways to serve customers – better, faster, and easier.”
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Ward added: “That’s why we are partnering with Ford to explore delivery with autonomous vehicle technology. We’re still learning – it’s a pilot – but, we want to make sure we stay on the cutting edge of grocery delivery by exploring what’s new and next. For example, we recently explored a small pilot project with Waymo to start exploring how customers will want to use self-driving cars when it comes to their grocery shopping.”
The pilot program with Ford is taking place in Miami-Dade County with both Walmart and Ford agreeing that autonomous vehicles have an important role to play “as we consider the future of delivery”.
August this year, U.S. supermarket operator Kroger Co announced that it has initiated tests with driverless grocery delivery with technology partner Nuro at a single Fry's Food Store in Scottsdale, Arizona.