All of us can probably imagine a future where cars drive themselves — in fact, that’s what we think about at Paul Obaugh Ford. Now, it seems like that future has almost become our present. Ford’s self-driving technology is making its official testing debut in Miami, Florida, partnering with Domino’s and Postmates for autonomous delivery services.
As one of the most congested cities in the United States, Miami is an ideal place to start the next stage of Ford’s autonomous driving progression. To make sure the vehicles know what they are doing, the roads of Miami-Dade County have been thoroughly mapped, including details like speed limits and street signs.
With self-driving delivery vehicles, customers will place their orders online or through a smartphone, and the requested items will be placed inside the vehicle. It will then drive itself to the delivery address, park legally and alert the customer that it has arrived. The customer will come out to the vehicle, enter a code on a screen to unlock the delivery compartment, and remove the goods.
Over the next few years, Ford will continue to gather information from this self-driving fleet in preparation for a purpose-built self-driving vehicle, which it plans to launch in 2021.