Walmart has partnered with Ford Motor and autonomous driving technology company Argo AI to launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service in the US.
The collaboration is part of Walmart’s efforts to develop technologies to address consumer demand and optimise the last-mile delivery process.
The retailer will use Ford self-driving test vehicles, featuring Argo AI’s Self-Driving System, to deliver orders.
Walmart customers in Miami, Austin, Texas and Washington DC can have their orders delivered directly to their homes.
Walmart US last-mile delivery senior vice-president Tom Ward said: “We’re excited to expand our autonomous delivery efforts in three new markets alongside Argo and Ford.
“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 will integrate Argo’s cloud-based infrastructure into its online ordering platform to navigate orders and schedule package deliveries for customers.
The partners will expand this commercial service over time, with initial integration testing scheduled to start later this year.
Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility CEO Scott Griffith said: “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.”
Argo AI founder and CEO Bryan Salesky said: “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.
“Working together with Walmart and Ford across three markets, we’re showing the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale.”
Last month, Walmart launched a white-label service called GoLocal, which is designed to deliver goods to customers to businesses of all sizes.