Walmart, one of the world’s largest retail corporations, announced the launch of the driverless delivery service. It is going to be launched in partnership with Ford Motors Co and self-driving startup Argo AI.
The company plans to start testing at the end of 2021 in three US cities – Austin, Miami, and Texas. The service will be provided with Ford Escape hybrid vehicles driven by Argo’s technology. Initially, the delivery will be performed with one store per city, and the list of the available destinations will be limited. However, the company is planning to expand the service very quickly. The customers will be able to order items and select autonomous delivery without any extra charge.
Also, it is worth mentioning that currently, Walmart is testing other driverless delivery options in partnership with Cruise LLC, Waymo, Nuro, and Gatik. The company is working on developing the most suitable service. But unlike all the mentioned test programs, the new one, with Ford Motors Co and Argo, is targeted at densely populated cities.
The testing allows Walmart to obtain valuable experience and, in the future, to discover a way to expand the delivery coverage. Marketing experts say that autonomous delivery may become a profitable business with trillions worth in perspective.