Ford combines self-driving delivery van & drones

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Updated Mar 6, 2017
Ford’s Autolivery concept uses a self-driving electric van and drones to delivery packages.Ford’s Autolivery concept uses a self-driving electric van and drones to delivery packages.

Delivering packages in crowded metro areas can be time-consuming and costly.

To help streamline the process, Ford came up the Autolivery concept: an autonomous electric van paired up with delivery drones designed to make shipping faster and more convenient.

Besides offering curbside package delivery service from the van, Ford Europe envisions launching drones from the vehicle which will then fly up tall buildings and drop off packages on balconies.

Ford employees created Autolivery for the company’s Last Mile Mobility Challenge. The concept could be experienced through virtual reality headsets at the recent Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest gathering for the mobile industry, in Barcelona, as part of Ford’s vision of the “City of Tomorrow.” A video is available below.

Ford intends to have a fully autonomous, SAE level 4-capable vehicle for commercial application in mobility services such as ride sharing, ride hailing or package delivery fleets in 2021. It also expects continued growth in electrified vehicles offerings, to the point where they outnumber their gas‑powered counterparts in the next 15 years.

“Ford has at its heart a culture of disruption and innovation designed to come up with solutions that put people first, to save them time, money and aggravation, and also to make our cities easier to navigate and better to live in,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford Motor Company.