Ford and Postmates Will Test Autonomous Delivery Vehicles

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Through this study, Ford plans to get a better understanding of how customers will want to interact with delivery vehicles and what neighborhoods they'll feel safe walking out to the curb to retrieve a meal.

The automaker announced on Tuesday a partnership with Postmates, the delivery service darling of Silicon Valley, to test deliveries in its self-driving cars.

Ford's Jim Varley, EVP and President of Global Markets, announced the news during the automaker's keynote address at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

Ford and Postmates will conduct pilot programs with self-driving cars throughout the year, Marakby said.

Tests are scheduled to begin by the end of March.

Ford has a new partner for its autonomous vehicle program: Postmates. The latest agreement would add Postmates - which aims to offer local delivery of essentially any item - and its network of 250,000 businesses in 250 cities.

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Founded out of San Francisco in 2011, Postmates now supplies in many major cities across the United States and Canada, making around 2.5m deliveries each month. One day earlier, Toyota teased a self-driving Pizza Hut and Amazon vehicle created to make deliveries and serve as a mobile store.

These connected vehicles are the foundation for vehicle-to-everything (V2X) infrastructure, the company said, which would allow cars to communicate with each other as well as pedestrians, cyclists, and traffic lights.

Ford also announced a cloud-based smart city platform, created to facilitate communication between various transportation methods and services operating within them, including individual vehicle data.

Speaking of communicating vehicles, Ford and Qualcomm are working together on a system called Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X), which will enable cars that have cellular chips to communicate with one another, as well as to a set of outside services.

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.

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