It’s not difficult to feel like the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry has settled into the box of distress. The exaggerated buzz around self-driving vehicles that was extremely popular a couple of years prior has become tempered as designers find that in addition to the fact that humans drive well—which sets a high bar for their robocars—yet people likewise drive gravely in interesting manners relying on where they are. (Individuals drive severely in Las Vegas uniquely in contrast to the manner in which they drive seriously in San Francisco, etc.)
Our roads probably won’t be spilling over with robotaxis as we were guaranteed around 2017, however to a great extent, AV organizations are starting business arrangements. Argo AI, the AV startup intensely sponsored by Ford, Volkswagen, and others, is one of those organizations. On Wednesday, Argo, Ford, and Walmart uncovered that they will be cooperating to carry out last-mile deliveries from the retail goliath’s stores in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Washington, DC.
“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 of Argo AI. “Working together with Walmart and Ford across three markets, we’re showing the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale.”
“Argo and Ford are aggressively preparing for large-scale autonomous vehicle operations across a broad footprint of US cities,” said Scott Griffith, the CEO of 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 AI and Ford have been testing their AV systems in Miami and DC since 2018 and started testing in Austin the next year. The threesome says that the primary autonomous deliveries to Walmart clients will start later this year. Around a similar time, Ford and Argo will begin sending travelers carrying robotaxis in Austin and Miami.