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Your Next Postmates Delivery May Not Come With a Driver

13 January 2018

Among them, Ford is partnering with Postmates to test self-driving technology for deliveries.

Although many details around the partnership are unclear - such as when and where the deliveries will take place - the companies said Postmates' customers will be chosen at random to receive deliveries via a self-driving auto.

Ford is working with Qualcomm to connect autonomous vehicles with pedestrians, traffic signals and cyclists.

Jim Farley, president of Global Markets, Ford Motor Company (L) talks with Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford during the Ford keynote at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 9, 2018.

In addition to new partner Postmates, Ford will be testing further with existing partners Lyft and Domino's, and already it's gleaned some insights from the latter two, including learning that many of its early users of the Domino's autonomous delivery service say "bye" to the driverless vehicle and enjoy interacting with its voice powered instructions interface.

Corporate leadership at Ford imagines a future where cars are constantly making deliveries or pickups.

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Founded out of San Francisco in 2011, Postmates now supplies in many major cities across the USA and Canada, making around 2.5m deliveries each month. Its appeal is offering on-demand deliveries to customers who are short on time. Toyota is in talks with Amazon.

Ford already has 700,000 connected vehicles on the road and by next year, every new vehicle it makes for the United States will be connected.

On stage at the event, Ford executive director Don Butler demoed how an autonomous vehicle could realize if the driver is ill and pull over to the side of the road before alerting authorities. Farley also indicated that Ford will begin testing self-driving technology in a new city that will be announced in the coming months.

By connecting these elements, Ford believes congestion could decrease and cities will function better.

As well as piloting the vehicle technology, the tests will allow Ford to test its new partnership platform which may underpin its future business model.

For example the company wants to identify "public transport dead zones" and fill the gaps by providing accessibility options with its own autonomous vehicles.

Your Next Postmates Delivery May Not Come With a Driver