Ford’s banking on Autolivery and its investment in Argo AI for surging ahead of the competition in the fight for supremacy in self-driving and automated package delivery technology.
Believe it or not, in the coming years the world created in “Wall-E” could become a reality. Ford has a vision wherein an army of autonomous drones delivers things to you right on your doorstep.
This is the message Ford conveyed to visitors to its stall at the Mobile World Congress. Using VR glasses, Ford put visitors in the shoes of a of a dinner party host who was missing a few key ingredients.
As you might expect, there is an app for everything in the future. The woman thus uses an app called “Autolivery,” to order her ingredients which are promptly loaded onto a, (as you guessed it) self-driving van or a drone flies which delivers the package either on her doorstep or on the balcony of her apartment on the 30th floor.
Autolivery was developed by Euishik Bang, Chelsia Lau and James Kuo, Ford’s Shanghai-based designers as a solution to the company’s Last Mile Mobility Challenge.
Essentially Autolivery automates the final stretch of the delivery of goods, from curb to door. A process that is difficult and which many companies are working on solving.
According to Ford, in the future, the pressure to develop mobility solutions are only likely to grow, with local deliveries rising from surging online sales.
Ford’s idea could potentially reduce air pollution and gridlock, while allowing people to move around more freely.
“It’s all about making life in the city easier. The possibility of harnessing autonomous and electric vehicle technology with drones to quickly and easily send and deliver parcels could help to make life better for everyone,” said Bang.
Autolivery is Ford’s vision of the future wherein fewer people buy cars.
The company has recently invested $1 billion in a relatively unknown self-driving technology startup called Argo AI.
Argo’s code will be used to pilot fully autonomous delivery vehicles, such as Autolivery, as well as ride hailing and ride sharing vehicles.
Ford plans on launching its own fleet of autonomous vehicles which shuttle goods and people in 2021.