According to a report in TechCrunch, Ford has teamed up with Postmates for a pilot test of on-demand delivery with approximately 70 businesses in the Miami metro area. TechCrunch also reports that Ford is testing vehicles with multiple storage lockers so vehicles can handle multiple separate deliveries in the same trip.
“The goal is to see how businesses and consumers interact with self-driving delivery cars,” TechCrunch reported. “On the employee end, they get an access code to place the item inside. On the customer side, they’ll receive a text message with an access code when the order is ready to be picked up.”
A blog on Ford’s corporate site on the partnership said throughout the year the two companies will conduct pilot programs to explore how self-driving technology could change the delivery experience for consumers, as well as helping brick-and-mortar retailers reach new customers.
“In the future, when a consumer uses Postmates to place a purchase — whether for groceries, takeout or other goods — a self-driving vehicle could be what delivers her order,” the blog stated. “As part of our testing trials, we’ll study both what the merchant experience needs to be at the point of delivery and what the customer experience needs to be at that same point.”