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Technology

Walmart, Ford, Argo AI Team Up For Autonomous Vehicle Delivery Service

Walmart Inc, self-driving startup Argo AI and automaker Ford Motor Co will together launch an autonomous vehicle delivery service in Miami, Austin, and Washington, D.C, the companies have said.

Initial integration testing is expected to begin later this year, the companies added.

The move comes as consumer expectations shift to next-day or same-day delivery, particularly in urban areas with a higher concentration of deliveries.

Last month, Walmart Inc raised annual US same-store sales forecast after beating analysts' estimates, as shoppers coming out of lockdown bought more clothes, travel gear and back-to-school merchandise.

Multi-City Service

The multi-city service will allow Walmart customers to place online orders of groceries and other popular items for autonomous delivery to their homes.

Argo's cloud-based system will integrate with Walmart's online ordering platform to route orders and schedule package deliveries. Ford's self-driving test vehicles with Argo's self-driving system will then deliver the orders to customers.

"This collaboration will further our mission to get products to the homes of our customers with unparalleled speed," said Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile delivery at Walmart in the United States.

Walmart had previously partnered with General Motor's Cruise on a self-driving delivery pilot and with self-driving vehicle startups Gatik and Nuro to explore delivery through autonomous vehicles.

Earlier this year, online grocer Ocado announced plans to invest £10 million (€11.47 million) in autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica as part of a partnership that aims to reduce the cost of last-mile delivery and other logistics.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Technology news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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