Autolivery is one interesting van
We’ve seen plenty of self-driving prototypes intended to transport people, but we’ve yet to encounter a completely autonomous process for transporting goods directly to a customer’s doorstep. With the new Autolivery concept, Ford has envisioned a future of self-driving vans and drones working together to achieve this goal.
Not unlike something you’d expect to see in a sci-fi movie, the Autolivery concept is an electric self-driving van with deployable drones that can fly to your doorstep to pick up and drop off a package. In the video below, Ford demonstrates how this concept is particularly useful in high-rise buildings which typically present some of the biggest delivery challenges.
It’s all part of Ford’s vision for the future called “The City of Tomorrow.” Making roadways reconfigurable and offering a broader range of transportation and delivery options including bikes, drones, and ride-hailing vehicles can make transportation easier and open up more green space, the automaker contends.
“While the scene shown today is not yet possible, ‘Autolivery’ suggests how our ongoing mobility research could enrich our lives in a more sustainable ‘City of Tomorrow’,” said Ken Washington, Ford’s vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering, in a statement.
Of course, Ford isn’t the first automaker to dream up a drone-launching van. Mercedes debuted its Vision Van concept last year, a vehicle with similar drone capabilities but less focus on full automation. It’s unclear when Ford’s vision could come to life, but perhaps some of these ideas aren’t as far off as we think. Ford says it will offer fully autonomous vehicles in high volumes by 2021. These initial vehicles will be designated for commercial application in mobility services that could include ride hailing, ride sharing, or package delivery fleets, the automaker says.