Published on January 11th, 2018 | by James Ayre0
Ford Partnering With Postmates In Self-Driving Car Sector
January 11th, 2018 by James Ayre
Ford has announced a new partnership with the delivery service Postmates centered around the self-driving vehicle sector. Plans call for testing of packaged and goods delivery via self-driving cars to begin later in 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.
As explained by Ford’s president of global markets, Jim Farley: “We’re testing the business model” for the delivery of goods. Initially, of course, such vehicles will feature human oversight/drivers, but will later transition to full autonomy, ideally.
That comment was made in an interview between Farley + Ford’s head of autonomous and electric vehicle development, Sherif Marakby, and Reuters.
Here’s more from the Reuters coverage: “Ford will expand delivery partners beyond Dominos Pizza and San Francisco-based Postmates, Farley said. The automaker sees small businesses as a significant potential market and a natural next step after decades of catering to commercial van and pickup buyers, he said.”
“In an address at the CES technology conference in Las Vegas, Farley outlined a concept for self-driving vehicles to pick up and deliver packages from multiple small businesses on a single trip. The key for making profit, Farley said, is keeping the cars moving.”
It’s not yet a clear where exactly Ford’s initial real-world testing will take place. It’s notable, though, that the company is still planning to rely upon plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) of such services rather than all-electrics (EVs). The transition to EVs from PHEVs won’t occur until the second generation of the company’s self-driving vehicles arrives, according to the Ford execs.
In related news, GM/Cruise, Waymo/Google, and many others are now working to bring similar services to market within the near future.