Ford unveiled its ‘Autolivery’ concept for autonomous drone deliveries at Mobile World Congress (MWC).
Ford envisions a future of autonomous vehicles and drones delivery
Ford’s vision for the 'City of Tomorrow' includes a legion of autonomous vehicles and drones used for delivery of everything from groceries to urgently needed medical supplies. The Autolivery idea is one of many submitted by Ford employees to tackle the last mile mobility challenge in delivery, which aims to solve the complexity of delivering packages the last 15 meters between the delivery truck and the drop-off.
Drones to the rescue
Ford doubled down of future tech with the use of virtual reality (VR) to demonstrate use of the Autolivery service. The VR experience put MWC visitors in the shoes of a dinner party host missing key ingredients. In it, the woman places an order from an app. Her package is then loaded onto a self-driving van, and a drone flies it up to a landing pad on the balcony of her 30th floor apartment just in time to add to the recipe. How very convenient,
Ford proposes the use of drones beneficial when dealing with deliveries in dense, urban areas, where parking is impractical and people live in high-rise apartment buildings. And as more people shop online, the pressure to improve the efficiency of delivery services will grow.
Old dog with new tricks
Ford, arguably the U.S. most recognizable auto brand, has been exploring opportunities of scope to rebrand itself as a technology startup. Last month, Ford took a further step in that direction with the acquisition of a brand-new autonomous driving startup Argo AI for $1 billion. It has said it plans to manufacture a completely autonomous car, without steering wheel or pedals, by 2021. It's also also explored ride- and bike-sharing too.