How Argo, Walmart and Ford Are Partnering to Shape the Future of Autonomous Retail Delivery
As part of Argo AI’s continuing push to safely commercialize self-driving technology, we’re entering a new collaboration with Walmart and Ford to roll out autonomous vehicles for goods delivery in Miami, Austin and Washington D.C. For us, this is one step in the pioneering stages of our plan to scale our business. For the autonomous vehicle industry, it marks Walmart’s first autonomous delivery launch spanning three different U.S. markets.
For Walmart, this collaboration is consistent with its well-earned reputation for innovative thinking which has steered the retail space for over 60 years. Walmart is a proven leader in leveraging emerging technologies, spearheading the use of driverless technology to enhance the last-mile delivery process, benefitting its business and consumers alike.
Clearly, Walmart’s progressive approach to serving its customers is nothing new. Neither is Ford’s, given their storied history of revolutionizing mobility. So what, you might ask, makes this three-way partnership noteworthy?
There are several differentiators.
Let’s start with the fact that we’re rolling out in three major cities. The preparation necessary for this achievement speaks to Argo’s uniquely large testing footprint in the U.S., but the significance also lies in the specific cities selected for the partnership. We chose Miami, Austin and Washington D.C., not only because they are key initial commercialization cities for Argo and Ford, but also because they are modern and dense urban centers with diverse cultures of mobility and a strong demand for last-mile delivery. Equally as important, we’ve been safely testing in each of these complex cities – along with Palo Alto, Pittsburgh and Detroit – for several years.
Just like with the multi-city testing of our autonomous fleets, we’ll employ a painstakingly thorough approach to refining contact-free last-mile delivery to enhance the experience for Walmart’s consumers because we’re building a business, not just a technology. That’s why Argo’s cloud-based infrastructure is designed to plug-and-play with partners like Walmart, easily connecting to their back-end systems and enabling fast deployment of new autonomous goods delivery services.
So when you see an Argo-powered Ford Escape Hybrid navigating the streets with Walmart goods in tow, we hope you can see our vision along with it. When it’s ready, an expansive autonomous delivery operation has the potential to benefit everyone from the big-box retailers to small businesses, but most importantly, to the people waiting for quick and easy door-to-door service.