Ford in partnership with Postmates logistics company has launched a pilot project in Miami and Miami Beach (USA) to test unmanned delivery of food and goods from restaurants, cafes and shops.
70 firms are also involved in the project. The Transit Connect LCVs were specially modified into self-driving cars.
Residents will be able to order goods by selecting the delivery option on the autonomous Ford Transit Connect, which is equipped with special carriage boxes of different sizes, with a pair of cup holders for drinks. During the testing, the optimal configuration of the boxes will be found.
One vehicle can deliver several orders along the same route. Upon the arrival of the goods at the destination, the customer receives an SMS indicating that the order can be collected. You need to dial the access code received after placing the order on a touch screen.
Then, the message about the location of the goods is displayed, and the sought-for box indicator lights up. Sound prompts are also included in the Postmates program. As a result of this project, by 2021 the design of a special self-driving vehicle for commercial purposes will be developed.
The test vehicles for Ford pilot projects only look like unmanned, but in fact they are manually controlled by an experienced driver. The main thing at this stage is to establish the correct operation of the system at the end points, at the stages of loading the goods and transferring them to consumers.
At the same time, Ford continues testing and developing autonomous technologies on other experimental vehicles.