Self-Driving Cars and Delivery are Teaming up For a New Experience

Now more than ever, it’s become easier for people to get things delivered right to their doorstep. No longer do people have to go grocery shopping, hit up the mall, or even venture to a restaurant for food. It seems that society is loving the luxury of having things delivered right to their doorstep. This industry doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, in fact, it continues to grow. More and more of these “on demand” services are popping up, especially when it comes to food delivery.

Postmates is a relatively new app and website which allows you to order from popular restaurants throughout their city. Someone then picks up the order and delivers it right to your doorstep. You don’t ever have to leave your house. Postmates is trying to compete with other big-name delivery services like UberEats and GrubHub. Sometimes, they struggle. It seems, however, that help is on the way for them.

According to TechCrunch, Postmates is now partnering with Ford to test out a self-driving delivery service. It’s great news for both companies. This delivery service will help Postmates make a name for itself, get deliveries out quicker and easier, and more. There is even talk that brick-and-mortar restaurant locations could benefit from this service too. The platform is set to be launched later this year.

This program will allow Postmates and Ford integrate together to see how everything from user interface to customer experience will play out. The ultimate goal is that a pristine on-demand delivery service stems from this. This won’t be the last partnership between the two. If all goes off without a hitch, there will be more to come. So is this the future of delivery and technology? It definitely seems so. With more self-driving cars being tested it was only a matter of time until the delivery services got in on this. There are still a lot of questions floating around this partnership and many who order delivery wonder how things will change for them. Will there be a price increase? A longer or shorter wait time? It will be interesting to see. In the meantime, Ford will continue to own and operate its own fleet of self-driving vehicles but they will continue these partnerships to see how they can better serve society.

Ford Latest Car Company To Invest In Self-Driving Tech

Google might be getting the most headlines when it comes to self-driving cars, but Ford apparently wants to join the party. The Motley Fool reports Ford has joined forces with the Chinese search-engine giant, Baidu to invest more than $150 million in a maker of sensors that are going to be critical to self-driving cars.

This investment represents a doubling down by Ford in Silicon Valley. While the firm has long been known as one of the largest automotive makers in the world, it is going to great lengths to be more recognizable in the tech world. As part of the investment in this particular technology, the company has said it is going to be expanding its Palo Alto, California research center.

This expansion is going to entail adding two new buildings to the facility and will also ramp up the number of employees that are working there. Right now, Ford has about 130 people working there, and the firm announced on Tuesday it was going to expanding its employee roll to more than 260 workers.

The company Ford and Baidu are investing in is known as Velodyne which specializes in the LiDAR sensor. LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging, and it uses lasers to construct rather highly detailed maps of the car’s surroundings. This kind of sensor is expected to be a very big deal when cars that are driving themselves become something that is quite a bit more prevalent.

Until very recently, these sensors were considered far too expensive to put out on the mass market. Outside investors like Ford are going to be working to drive the production cost down. Now only is this a big time investment in a burgeoning technology, but it is a real step forward in the self-driving car market.

Velodyne has already been working on coming up with a new version of the sensor that is cheaper to make, while still being the same quality level. These smaller sensors are called “Pucks” because of their size and shape. Those Pucks were most recently shown off earlier this year at the annual CES.

Ford’s Palo Alto facility has long been focusing on self-driving car technology, and these moves show the company is getting ready to go all in on the tech.