Ford and Hermes research autonomous vehicles for deliveries
The two major companies are teaming up to revolutionise doorstep deliveries.
As deliveries become ever more common, it is important that delivery companies are able to cope with demand. Companies such as Amazon who ship billions of packages annually we have seen recently developing electric vans to fulfil orders. Ford, teaming up with Hermes, have gone one step further and are trialling self-driving vans and research into how they would interact with humans.
The van seen above is specially adapted to both look like a self driving vehicle and has a "Human Car Seat" which can drive the van whilst looking like no one is in control of it. “As we plan to bring autonomous vehicles to the roads, it is important that we focus not only on enabling the technology, but on enabling our customers’ businesses,” said Richard Balch, director, Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility. “Clearly, there is no better way to identify how they may need to adapt than to experience those processes in real life.”
In Ford's two week research project they ae carrying out with Hermes, pedestrian couriers work with each van to complete the last leg of the journey. To help with this the couriers will be able to remotely hail the van so that can collect the next parcel. Ford are planning to invest about $7 billion in autonomous driving in the next 10 years as part of its mobility initiatives. Trials have been so far carried out in many places across the world as Ford works with Argo AI to integrate autonomy into our everyday lives. Lynsey Aston, head of innovation and onboarding said, “We’re constantly innovating to incubate and then explore concepts like this, and we look forward to the initial findings, which will no doubt be useful on an industry-wide level.”