Photo courtesy of Ford.
Domino's has begun using a self-driving delivery test vehicle from Ford Motor Co. in south Florida to help the automaker gather data for a fully autonomous delivery service Ford plans to launch in 2021, the company announced.
Ford will also begin testing a vehicle with Postmates, an app-based courier service that delivers food, groceries, clothing, and other goods, Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification, wrote in a Medium post.
Ford is testing the vehicles in Miami-Dade County on the streets of Miami and Miami Beach. The company has been working with Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who leads a county with diverse transportation options from ride-hailing to bicycle sharing.
Gimenez "understands the potential of self-driving vehicles and how they can fit in, interact with, and enhance all of those modes and more," Marakby wrote. "That’s why this collaboration makes so much sense."
Miami is one of the most congested cities in the U.S. It ranked fifth in the most recent Inrix Global Traffic Scorecard. Commuters spend an average of 64 hours in congestion per year, which is 10% of their total drive time.
While Domino's has already begun testing the autonomous vehicles, Postmates will begin testing one in March. The Fusion Hybrid test vehicles have been equipped with an array of sensors, including advanced LiDAR equipment from artificial intelligence firm Argo AI. Ford acquired the firm in October after investing $1 billion in the company in early 2017.
The vehicles have begun mapping the roads of Miami to improve the way they move through the city.