In the future, takeout, groceries and other things you order through the delivery startup Postmates might arrive via a self-driving Ford.
The automaker is teaming up with Postmates for autonomous delivery trials. As part of this partnership, the companies plan to conduct pilot programs throughout the year to understand “how self-driving technology could change the delivery experience for consumers, enable brick-and-mortar retailers to reach new customer bases, and transform the way commerce moves,” Ford’s Vice President of autonomous vehicles and electrification Sherif Marakby wrote in a blog post.
Postmates is an app and web-based service that connects customers with “local couriers who can deliver anything from any store or restaurant in minutes,” the company says on its website. Originally launched in its hometown of San Francisco, the service is now available in more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia (to see if it’s available in your area, head here).
The companies hope this partnership leads to more efficient deliveries and helps consumers connect with small and local businesses in their area, according to Marakby.
“The way commerce is moving around in cities is dramatically changing, and emerging technology will undoubtedly have an impact on the future of on-demand delivery,” Marakby wrote. “With the knowledge we’ll gain from our partnership with Postmates, we anticipate we’ll be able to better deploy self-driving technology in a way that can help people get what they need faster, while also supporting local businesses that are a big part of communities around the world.”
Last year, Ford teamed up with Domino’s to carry out a self-driving pizza delivery experiment in Ann Arbor, Mich., using Ford’s Fusion Hybrid vehicles for deliveries.