Walmart may soon be delivering groceries in Austin via a driverless car.
The grocery store giant announced Wednesday that it is teaming up with Ford Motor Co. and Argo AI to launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Austin, Miami and Washington, D.C.
Walmart will use Ford self-driving test vehicles equipped with Argo AI self-driving system to deliver Walmart orders to customers.
“Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where customer demand is high really comes to life with this collaboration,” Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI, said in a news release. “Working together with Walmart and Ford across three markets, we’re showing the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale.”
With the service, Walmart customers can place an order online and have it delivered to their door via an autonomous vehicle.
“We’re excited to expand our autonomous delivery efforts in three new markets alongside Argo and Ford,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile delivery, Walmart U.S. said in a news release. “This collaboration will further our mission to get products to the homes of our customers with unparalleled speed and ease, and in turn, will continue to pave the way for autonomous delivery.”
Walmart plans to initially offer the service in the three test markets and eventually roll it out to other markets nationwide. The service is scheduled to start later this year.
“Argo and Ford are aggressively preparing for large-scale autonomous vehicle operations across a broad footprint of U.S. cities,” Scott Griffith, CEO, Ford Autonomous Vehicles & Mobility Businesses said in a news release. “Pairing Walmart’s retail and e-commerce leadership with Argo and Ford’s self-driving operations across these multiple cities marks a significant step toward scaling a commercial goods delivery service that will ultimately power first-to-scale business efficiencies and enable a great consumer experience.”
Since 2019, Ford has been testing self-driving technology in Austin. Its also operating in Miami, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Detroit and Palo Alto. Ford has been working on building autonomous ride-hailing and delivery services in those markets. It has been establishing a commercial fleet management capabilities, including fueling, servicing, and cleaning of self-driving vehicles, to support the customer and keep fleets running. Walmart previously tested with Ford in Miami in 2018.