Ford Launches Autonomous Vehicle Pilot to Deliver Fresh Food to Seniors

Ford’s autonomous fresh food delivery pilot will benefit senior citizens facing mobility challenges in Southwest Detroit.

The service will use a low-speed autonomous shuttle operated by Quantum Signal AI and will follow a fixed route in Michigan Central, where Ford is conducting research on mobility innovation.

Ford Autonomous Delivery Vehicle
Ford’s autonomous delivery vehicle

Senior residents at Rio Vista Detroit Co-op Apartments who receive complementary deliveries through the Ford Resource and Engagement Center will now receive an additional shipment of groceries each month through the autonomous delivery pilot. This service offers them reliable groceries without transportation struggles.

Eric Finkler, Co-op Liaison, Rio Vista Detroit, said:

“CSI and Rio Vista Detroit Co-op are incredibly excited for this collaboration with Ford Motor Company. For many seniors in this community, access to transportation is integral for retaining their independence, and the automated vehicle delivery program will help expand our members’ access to groceries, easing one barrier to independent living. Our hope is that with one less thing to worry about, our members can focus on family, coordinating doctor visits, handling day-to-day responsibilities, and spending time on things that they enjoy.”

Ford has designed the autonomous shuttles for easy loading and unloading and has ensured the vehicles are well-suited for safely transporting fresh food. Throughout the journey, a safety driver will always remain inside the shuttle. The vehicle will also be remotely monitored by an operations team, who are able to intervene if necessary.

This grocery delivery pilot aims to contribute towards Ford’s understanding of the best methods for autonomously delivering goods in the future.

Joe Provenzano, Mobility Director, Ford Motor Company Fund, said:

“We’re constantly thinking about how to expand our reach in communities for those who don’t have access to the most basic goods, like groceries or warm meals. Bringing Ford’s mobility expertise together with local collaborations allows us to create innovative solutions that make communities stronger and people’s lives better.”

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