Ford Placing Hefty Bets on Autonomous Future
Self-Driving Vehicles Delivering Goods via Drones Isn’t Far-Fetched Anymore. It’s Exactly Where We’re Headed, According to Ford
People in the 1950s thought cars would fly by the year 2000. Clearly that didn’t happen, but there are other things that are in fact flying, such as the rate of speed at which information and technologies are being developed, including, of course — drones.
Ford sees a future where cars drive themselves, and goods are delivered via drones. At least that’s what they shared with a captive audience at the Mobile World Congress in Spain last week. This video by Ford Spain shows a new concept vehicle called “Fordlivery,” which demonstrates how Ford believes grocery shopping will be performed in the decades to come.
Think this is all speculation? Think again. UPS has already performed several successful drone delivery tests, in which quad-copters are utilized to transport packages from delivery trucks to doorsteps. This wouldn’t get rid of the human element. It simply makes delivery faster by allowing the driver to focus on driving to a central neighborhood location and deploy a small army of drones to deliver packages in a nearby radius.
This is the same idea behind Ford’s “Autolivery,” a robot-looking, self-driving bus that brings packages on-demand to neighborhoods, only to be delivered by drones at the final step. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Carr-E concept we witnessed while at the “Further with Ford” conference at Ford HQ last summer.
Further backing Ford’s deep commitment with all-things “future of mobility” is the $1 billion dollars (yes, “billion” with a “b”) that they’ve invested in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence start-up founded by former Google and Uber executives. If that’s not getting down to business, we don’t know what is.
How will this play out in the long run, who knows? But if there’s one thing Ford is good at, it’s having a watchful eye on the long road ahead.
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