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Walmart and Ford test grocery delivery with self-driving cars

Retail is changing at a rapid pace, and what’s easy in 2018 might feel old-fashioned in 2028. Walmart is offering grocery delivery in nearly 100 metro areas and is continuing to innovate, including a partnership with Ford that is focused on self-driving cars.

"We are partnering with Ford to explore delivery with autonomous vehicle technology," said Tom Ward, senior vice president of digital operations for Walmart U.S. "We’re still learning — it’s a pilot — but, we want to make sure we stay on the cutting edge of grocery delivery by exploring what’s new and next. For example, we recently explored a small pilot project with Waymo, to start exploring how customers will want to use self-driving cars when it comes to their grocery shopping."

The pilot program with Ford is taking place in Miami-Dade County. Through it, the company aims to learn more about how it can take advantage of self-driving vehicles to deliver fresh groceries — hand-picked by personal shoppers — to customers. In Miami, Postmates serves as its delivery partner and is already connected to Ford’s digital platform.

Walmart and Ford agree autonomous vehicles have an important role to play when considering the future of delivery. "Before self-driving cars can go mainstream, we must get a better sense of how people want to interact with them," said Ward. "Together, we will gather crucial data to learn the best way to bring items to customers."

There’s no telling what innovation the future will bring, but Walmart is committed to staying on the forefront of change to make getting groceries simple, quick and easy.

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