Only in Miami could Ford trial self-driving cars delivering Domino’s pizza, among other things.

Sherif Marakby, Ford Vice President, Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification said in a blog “We’ve spent years researching and developing self-driving technology, studying changing customer behaviours, serving some of the largest fleets in the country with help from our dealers, and working with governments big and small. Now it’s time to pull it all together and head for the finish line!”

“So now, we’re headed to Florida to test and prove out our business model. With the help of Miami-Dade County, we’re taking our service directly to the streets of Miami and Miami Beach,” he added.

It does not hurt that Miami was recently listed as the 10th most congested city in the world and the fifth most congested city in the United States. Miami commuters spend an average of 64 hours in congestion per year during peak time periods — or nearly 10% of their total drive time.

Ford wanted to learn what Miami-Dade residents would experience with self-driving vehicle service, the first part of its presence involves pilot programs throughout the year with our partners, starting with Domino’s and Postmates.

What it learns from this customer experience research will be applied to the design of our purpose-built self-driving vehicle that we plan to launch in 2021 to support the expansion of our service.

The types of questions to answer include:

  • Before a self-driving vehicle makes a delivery, how will employees stock it and send it off?
  • At the end of its journey, how will customers interact with the vehicle to retrieve their food or groceries, and how far from their homes are they willing to walk to get it?
  • What benefits could and should people get from a self-driving experience?