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article imageFord is testing autonomous delivery vans in Miami Florida

By Ken Hanly     Jun 11, 2018 in Technology
Miami - Ford has been using the city of Miami as a site to test its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. Recently the company joined forces with Postmates to research how people will react and interact with deliveries by autonomous delivery vans.
How the delivery works
As things are now, the delivery driver knocks on your door and delivers your order and you pay.
In an autonomous delivery you are given an access code that you use to open a tiny locker in the delivery van to get your order.
The lockers vary in size to accommodate different size orders. There are audio prompts and light displays to ensure that you are guided to the locker where you order is located.
Many businesses involved
The pilot project is underway both in Miami and Miami Beach. Over 70 businesses are involved with both restaurants and hardware stores taking part. For now, the autonomous vehicles are not actually operating autonomously but are manually operated by human drivers. The vans are just testing different methods of food delivery. However, Ford plans a fully autonomous delivery service by 2021. Ford said: “Ultimately, we are testing how businesses and consumers interact with a self-driving vehicle."
Tests were made earlier in Ann Arbor Michigan
Last year, in late August, Ford teamed up with Domino's Pizza to equip delivery cars with a Heatwave Compartment to keep pizzas warm. Customers who use the service are given a unique code by phone matching the last four digits of their phone number that can be used to unlock the compartment when the delivery car arrives. Customers can track their order through a Domino's app. Information is displayed through screens and speakers on the exterior of the cars. These cars were all driven manually but Ford said that it hoped eventually to have thousands of the self-driving cars in the city.
Ford is currently building a completely autonomous vehicle that will not even have traditional controls. It plans to release the vehicle by 2021.
Food delivery workers, as with truck drivers and taxi drivers, may in time see their jobs disappear as they are replaced by self-driving vehicles which will take over their duties.
The two pilot projects are shown on the appended videos.
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