DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is postponing its autonomous motor vehicle professional providers right until 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic and could in the end improve what providers it offers once the crisis passes.
Ford earlier prepared to start self-driving autos for professional use, these kinds of as bundle shipping and delivery, at some place in 2021. The organization, in partnership with startup Argo A.I., has been tests autonomous autos in Miami, Detroit, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh, Palo Alto, Calif., and Austin, Texas. It had announced Washington, D.C., Austin and Miami would be start marketplaces.
It has been tests a range of buyer-focused initiatives, including piloting autonomous pizza shipping and delivery with Domino’s and bundle shipping and delivery through Postmates and Walmart.
“Offered the troubles of the existing business enterprise surroundings, as well as the need to appraise the long-time period affect of COVID-19 on buyer behaviors, Ford built the choice to shift the start of its self-driving providers to 2022,” Ford mentioned in a statement. “Comprehending buyer actions is a critically vital component of developing a new mobility assistance crafted all over trust and earning people’s lives easier.”
Ford mentioned it will observe what shoppers want in a put up-coronavirus environment once the economy commences to reopen.
“Using the time to study modifications in buyer actions offers Ford with an opportunity to appraise and potentially improve our go-to-sector approach to meet up with new buyer needs,” the organization mentioned. “As component of this analysis, we also want to make certain the buyer encounters we are developing offers individuals peace of brain figuring out they, or their deals, are in a safe and sound and shielded surroundings within our autos.”
Ford has not but discovered what form of motor vehicle it will use for its AV business enterprise, despite the fact that COO Jim Farley has mentioned it will be a “floor-up AV” rather than a converted variation of anything previously in its lineup. The automaker will concentrate on hybrid autos very first due to their range and prospective for superior utilization.
“The challenge is developing a purchaser brand name transferring individuals and goods at superior volume,” Farley mentioned past 12 months. “We have a professional quality-motor vehicle. We’re betting on transferring goods just as a great deal as transferring individuals.”