Walmart Inc. has been fishing around in the autonomous car space for years. Now, it’s gearing up to test autonomous delivery service in Austin, Miami and Washington, D.C.
While it’s a relatively small rollout, planned for select parts of the three cities, the testing will help pave the way for future autonomous delivery services. The cars, which are Ford vehicles equipped with Argo AI autonomous systems, will have safety drivers at the wheel ready to take over as needed, as well as report any findings from the delivery tests.
In Austin, the autonomous deliveries will start in South Austin with deliveries from the Walmart at E. Ben White Boulevard near I-35, a company spokesperson said.
The new partnership comes as Ford Motor Co. and Argo AI LLC continue to prepare to launch robotaxi services in Austin as early as next year in partnership with Lyft Inc..