Ford And Walmart To Deliver Groceries To Consumer Homes Using Self-Driving Cars

The future looks set to arrive at people’s doorstep as the Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) prepares to have its fleet of self-driving cars deliver groceries to consumer homes.

Ford has announced that it is teaming with Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT), the world’s largest retailer, to have driverless cars deliver groceries right to people’s doors. The two companies said they will test the concept as part of an existing grocery-delivery partnership that’s going to be available in 800 stores in 100 U.S. metro markets by the end of this year.

As self-driving cars come closer to reality, automakers and tech companies are increasingly viewing driverless deliveries as a lucrative market. Automating the arrival of goods to consumers’ front porches would slash shipping costs roughly in half, experts say. Consultant McKinsey & Co. predicts that in less than a decade, 80% of all items will be delivered autonomously.

Ford has already been testing autonomous deliveries of groceries and other goods with Postmates and Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Waymo, which plans to launch a commercial driverless car service in December of this year, has a partnership with Walmart to transport online shoppers to its stores.

Ford has promised to deliver a purpose-built self-driving vehicle by 2021, along with a viable business model to go along with it. Other grocers are also eyeing a self-driving future. Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), the largest grocery chain in the U.S., announced in June a new partnership with autonomous-vehicle start-up Nuro to test the delivery of groceries in unmanned road vehicles that can steer from the store right to a customer’s home.