Is shopping at Walmart really too exhausting?
Ford and Walmart have just announced the two corporations are teaming up to bring groceries directly to customers in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Combined with Walmart’s Postmates app, residents will order their groceries online and have them delivered to their homes in a self-driving vehicle. Ford has also been testing self-driving vehicles in the Miami area since February 2018. It also previously announced a similar pilot program with Domino's Pizza for pizza delivery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Conveniently enough, Walmart’s grocery delivery service has also been very popular there as well. Personal shoppers will select the items customers have requested and then transport them to the vehicles. It’s quite simple, really.
Unfortunately, Ford does not give a date as to when this pilot program will officially get underway, only that it will “be working closely with Walmart to understand its operations, identify what goods we can feasibly transport, and pinpoint any issues that may need to be addressed to successfully deliver orders via self-driving vehicles.”
There could be some difficulties in transporting certain items, however. For example, what about frozen goods? Will there be some sort of cooler in the vehicles? What about multiple deliveries per trip? If that’s possible, how can Ford and Walmart make sure customers take the right orders (and not steal from another)? Is the pictured vehicle, a Ford Escape, even big enough to handle all of the cargo?
We’re not criticizing because this is a smart idea and, if properly developed, could work extremely well. But again, Miami is simply a test area and if this pilot program is successful then we don’t see any reason why it can’t be expanded to additional cities and states that already allow for self-driving cars on the roads. Ford also says it’s working even more national companies on how it can deliver other items such as floral arrangements, dry cleaning, and even tacos.