Self-driving Fords make sure kids get their veggies

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Ford Motor Co. is using self-driving cars that it’s testing in Miami to deliver fresh produce to families while students are unable to attend school in person.

Through the Food Forests for Schools program, run by the nonprofit Education Fund in Miami-Dade County, Ford has made weekly deliveries to about 50 families over the past two months using Fusion Hybrids. The contactless deliveries are made with employees from Argo AI, Ford’s self-driving technology partner, sitting behind the wheel and in the passenger seat, although the cars largely operate in self-driving mode.

Ford says it’s the first time it has integrated self-driving technology with a customer-facing partnership.

Package delivery is one way that Ford aims to commercialize self-driving vehicles. The program is helping the automaker gain valuable insight through real-world experiences, such as how long the loading and drop-off processes take and how to handle a variety of obstacles.


“This pilot allows us to do some good for our neighbors while helping accomplish our own objectives,” Alex Buznego, Miami market manager at Ford Autonomous Vehicles, told the Miami Herald. “We’re driving to single-family homes, condos, apartments — and each has its own nuances that an AV has to navigate safely and consistently. Practicing how they handle those environments is an important part to developing this business model.”

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