ShareThis Page
Technology

Ford, Argo AI launching self-driving delivery services in Miami

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, 10:03 a.m.
Ford and Argo AI are testing self-driving cars in Miami.
Courtesy Ford Motor Company
Ford and Argo AI are testing self-driving cars in Miami.
Ford and Argo AI are testing self-driving cars in Miami.
Courtesy Ford Motor Company
Ford and Argo AI are testing self-driving cars in Miami.
Ford and Argo AI are testing self-driving cars in Miami.
Courtesy Ford Motor Company
Ford and Argo AI are testing self-driving cars in Miami.
Ford and Domino's have started a pilot program in Miami to deliver pizza.
Courtesy of Ryan Merrill Photography
Ford and Domino's have started a pilot program in Miami to deliver pizza.
Argo AI employees work on a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid at the company's engineering center in Dearborn, Mich.
Ford
Argo AI employees work on a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid at the company's engineering center in Dearborn, Mich.
Ford's investment in February 2017 of $1 billion over five years in the Pittsburgh self-driving car startup Argo AI sparked a record-breaking year of investment for Pittsburgh-area tech companies. (Photo from Argo AI)
Argo AI
Ford's investment in February 2017 of $1 billion over five years in the Pittsburgh self-driving car startup Argo AI sparked a record-breaking year of investment for Pittsburgh-area tech companies. (Photo from Argo AI)

Ford is launching self-driving delivery services in Miami to test its autonomous car technology, the company announced Tuesday.

Fords featuring self-driving technology are already delivering Domino's pizza in the city, and a program with the delivery service Postmates is expected to launch next month.

“After working out numerous muscles and developing different techniques to navigate a future of self-driving cars, we're heading onto the stage in Miami-Dade to see how our business performs,” Sherif Marakby, Ford's vice president for autonomous vehicles and electrification, wrote in a post on Medium .

Marakby wrote that Ford will work out how employees stock and send off a self-driving vehicle for deliveries, how customers will interact with the car to get their pizza or groceries, and what benefits self-driving could bring to people and cities.

A fleet of Argo AI cars, the Pittsburgh startup that landed a $1 billion investment from Ford to develop self-driving technology for the auto manufacturer, is in Miami and Miami Beach mapping streets and accumulating autonomous miles, Marakby wrote. Ford and Argo will build the companies' first autonomous vehicle operations terminal close to downtown Miami to manage and house the fleet and handle maintenance, cleaning and troubleshooting. Ford did not say how many people will work at the terminal.

“These vehicles will need to be maintained, repaired and cleaned, including prying sticky gum off the seats,” Marakby wrote. “Taking care of a vehicle — whether it drives itself or not — requires space and manpower.”

Ford invested heavily in Argo AI about a year ago. The $1 billion deal was for five years. Ford announced Tuesday it was expanding its partnership with Argo but did not disclose details.

Argo actively tests cars in Pittsburgh and established its headquarters in the Strip District.

Argo AI had 250 employees at the end of 2017. The company is led by CEO Bryan Salesky, a University of Pittsburgh graduate who worked at Carnegie Mellon University and for Google's self-driving car project. It also includes members of the team that launched Uber's self-driving car operations in Pittsburgh: Argo President Peter Rander; the company's vice president of robotics, Brett Browning; and CFO Daniel Beaven.

Ford expects to launch a self-driving vehicle in 2021. The company has its sights on delivery and ride-sharing applications for its autonomous program. Ford announced a partnership with Domino's in August and started testing driverless pizza delivery in Michigan last year. Ford's partnership with Postmates was announced in January at CES in Las Vegas.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at aaupperlee@tribweb.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me