Ford is set to conduct the pilot test of its self-driving cars in Miami as well as other areas around the Miami beach.
The test is said to include running autonomous vehicles on roads powered by Argo AI autonomous vehicle software.
According to Sharif Marakby, Vice President of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification, the cars doing the business test and the cars doing the autonomous testing will be separate.
He explained that Ford wants to test both in parallel to ensure that they are fully developed and matured by 2021, when it intends to deploy “thousands” of it in commercial operation at scale.
“The business and the tech are going to converge in the future,” Marakby said.
He mentioned that they are running both in parralel to be able to perfect the business side before its rollout.
He revealed that Ford is already up and running with its Domino’s simulated on-demand autonomous pizza delivery service, and will begin Postmates deliveries in March.
Ford is said to have established an autonomous vehicle operations depot in Miami, which will be used to manage and house the fleet, as well as to clean and maintain the vehicles.
However, Marakby explained that it will be a base from which it can coordinate its dealer network participation.
Marakby also said they are operating in Miami with the pilot to understand the magnitude of the opportunity, which will help it in its process of developing custom, and fit-for-purose AVs from the ground up.