Ford Motor Company, Argo AI and Walmart are working together to launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami; Austin, Texas; and Washington, DC—Walmart’s first multi-city autonomous delivery collaboration in the US. The last mile delivery service will use Ford self-driving test vehicles equipped with the Argo AI Self-Driving System to deliver Walmart orders to customers.
The collaboration brings together a self-driving technology provider with an automotive manufacturer able to integrate that technology with vehicles at scale, plus the world’s largest retailer. This combination builds on Walmart’s leadership in adopting emerging technologies to meet growing consumer expectations and enhance the last-mile delivery process. The multi-city service will enable Walmart customers to place orders of groceries and other popular items online for door-to-door autonomous delivery directly to customers’ homes.
The commercial service will be available to Walmart customers within defined service areas of the three markets and will expand over time, with initial integration testing slated to begin later this year.
As consumer expectations continue to shift to next-day or same-day delivery—especially in the urban core where there is a higher concentration of deliveries—this collaboration will drive key learnings in how autonomous technology can enhance customer experiences, while also optimizing logistics and operations.
Argo’s cloud-based infrastructure, which is designed to work seamlessly and efficiently with partners’ business operations, will integrate with Walmart’s online ordering platform to route orders and schedule package deliveries to customers’ homes.
In addition to testing self-driving technology in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Palo Alto, Calif., Argo and Ford have been operating in Miami and Washington, D.C., since 2018 and in Austin since 2019, to build autonomous ride-hailing and delivery services and establish the necessary real estate footprint and commercial fleet management capabilities, including fueling, servicing, and cleaning of self-driving vehicles, to support the customer and keep fleets running. Walmart previously tested with Ford in Miami in 2018.