Wal-Mart plans grocery deliveries with self-driving vehicles

Published: 28 November 2018

Wal-Mart plans grocery deliveries with self-driving vehicles
Ford and Walmart have partnered up in an effort to explore the possibilities at hand with the use of autonomous vehicles and the technology they have. They are hoping to provide an industry-leading example of the kind of benefits firms could see from autonomous technology.

The trial is set to take place across the Miami-Dad county, with Postmates as the delivery partner during this period. Senior Vice President of Digital Operations at Walmart US, Tom Ward spoke regarding the recent plan: “Through it, we aim to learn more about how we can take advantage of self-driving vehicles to deliver fresh groceries – hand-picked by our personal shoppers – to customers.”

“Before self-driving cars can go mainstream, we must get a better sense of how people want to interact with them. Together, we will gather crucial data to learn the best way to bring items to customers.”
This could mean services such as Asda delivery could be completed by self-driving vehicles, rather than through a courier or driver. Asda was purchased by Wal-Mart in 1999, during a time when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Should the heads at Wal-Mart in the US find these test-runs with autonomous vehicles a success and implicate them on a national scale within the States which proves to be beneficial to the company, this could find its way to UK roads in the near future. What this would mean for current delivery drivers within the UK chain is an uncertainty.

Ford have gone on record in regards to autonomous vehicles, saying slow and steady will win the race. They claim that the cautious approach will help to win over concerned consumers, who are already sceptical regarding self-driving cars.

Sherif Marakby, CEO at Ford Autonomous Vehicles said in a report: “Safety, reliability and the experience the technology will enable are the key pillars to developing trust. We are not in a race to be first to offer self-driving vehicles to the public, our focus is on doing it correctly.”

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