Ford is bringing self-driving cars to the streets of Miami and Miami Beach to deliver pizzas from Domino’s.
In collaboration with Miami-Dade County, Ford is testing to prove out a business model, according to Sherif Marakby, vice president, autonomous vehicles and electrification at Ford.
“What we learn from this customer experience research will be applied to the design of our purpose-built self-driving vehicle that we plan to launch in 2021 to support the expansion of our service,” Marakby stated in the Ford announcement.
The goal of the pilot program is to answers a set of questions relating to food delivery via autonomous vehicle. Marakby said the questions are:
“Another way to think about it is to consider the costs of convenience,” stated Marakby. “Today, deliveries can be made to someone’s door, though there is usually an extra charge involved. Oftentimes, drivers illegally double-park when they can’t find a space, potentially causing traffic congestion for others. A self-driving vehicle won’t need to be tipped and it won’t park illegally.”
A new fleet of autonomous vehicles is already on the streets, mapping roads. Ford is also establishing its first autonomous vehicle operations terminal in Miami where it will develop vehicle management processes and house the test fleet.