With autonomous, self-driving vehicles the current hot topic of the automotive industry, Ford have now taken the idea one step further with an ‘Autodelivery’ concept; part of their vision for the future, which they have named “City of Tomorrow”.
After recent data revealed that European city motorists spent up to 91 hours sitting in congested traffic during 2016; Ford envisages the “City of Tomorrow” will identify solutions to challenges such as mobility, gridlock and air pollution in urban areas, and their employees are working to develop ideas and innovations.
The ‘Autodelivery’ concept is currently under development by Shanghai -based Ford engineers Euishik Bang, James Kuo and Chelsia Lau, based around the idea of electric self-driving vans with deployable drones that can pick up and deliver packages to your doorstep.
Put simply, imagine placing a food order and having it delivered to you by a driverless vehicle, before being flown to your doorstep by a robotic drone – a parictularly perfect solution to the delivery challenges sometimes posed by high rise blocks of flats.
Euishik Bang explains: “It’s all about making life in the city easier. The possibility of harnassing autonomous and electric vehicle technology with drones to quickly and easily send and deliver parcels could help to make life better for everyone.”
Although still very much in its concept stage, the idea appeals to the modern demands for convenience, and quick and efficient service. And Ford already appear to be making progress towards this goal, with the annoucement of their intention to offer fully autonomous vehicles in high volumes by 2021. Ford has also stated their belief that the continued growth of electrical vehicles will eventually outnumber petrol powered vehicles within the next 15 years.
And while ‘Autodelivery’ is not yet a possibility, Ken Washington, Ford’s Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering, is positive about this vision of the future. “Ford has at it’s heart a culture of innovation designed to come up with solutions that put people first, to save them time, money and aggravation.” said Ken. “Autodelivery suggests how our ongoing mobility research could enrich our lives in a more sustainable ‘City of Tomorrow’.”
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