Ford, Postmates team up on self-driving deliveries

Olive Hawkins
January 13, 2018

Ford isn't saying yet which city will prove its new testing ground for its autonomous fleet (it'll have more on that subject as the plan matures later this year), but it did confirm to me that the city selected will also be one where it plans to eventually deploy its fleet in a commercial capacity, too.

Ford Motor Co on Tuesday said it will partner with delivery service Postmates Inc as the automaker starts later this year testing in a US city how to transport people, food and packages using its self-driving cars.

The companies also didn't elaborate on how Postmates customers would receive deliveries - there will likely be someone in the vehicle - but said users will follow instructions provided via the app.

Ford intends to power its self-driving cars with plug-in hybrid systems that rely on petroleum-fueled engines to extend range and power the electronics needed for automated driving, Farley and Marakby said.

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Hackett shared his vision for the future of urban mobility in Las Vegas - hours after Intel (INTC) unveiled its first self-driving vehicle, part of a planned 100-car test fleet, and a day after Nvidia (NVDA) showed off its Xavier self-driving chip at CES.

Shares of Ford were up 0.2% at 13.18 on the stock market today, and General Motors (GM) added 0.4%. IBD's Leaderboard is a curated list of potential stock market winners.

Developed in partnership with Silicon Valley company Autonomic, the Transportation Mobility Cloud would "manage information flow and basic transactions between a variety of components in the transportation ecosystem - service providers, personal vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, mass transit systems and city infrastructure, including traffic lights and parking locations". This is important for applications like autonomous cars, because C-V2X vehicles would be able to do things like communicate intent to other vehicles around them, which could then respond accordingly. Plans call for testing of packaged and goods delivery via self-driving cars to begin later in 2018. GM in November said it will launch self-driving cars for ride-sharing services by 2019, describing the business as potentially raking in profits. He announced a partnership with Postmates and mentioned Ford's collaborations with Domino's and Lyft.

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