Ford and Postmates
Ford and Postmates

Retail deliveries made in self-driving cars got a step closer to reality at CES in Las Vegas this week.

Ford announced it has partnered with delivery service Postmates to begin a pilot program testing how its self-driving vehicles and on-demand delivery might work hand in hand.

The two will explore how self-driving technology could change the delivery experience for consumers, enable brick-and-mortar retailers to reach new customer bases, and transform the way commerce moves in the communities in which we operate. A big focus is on how to benefit small businesses.

“The way commerce is moving around in cities is dramatically changing, and emerging technology will undoubtedly have an impact on the future of on-demand delivery,” Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification, said in a post on Medium. “With the knowledge we’ll gain from our partnership with Postmates, we anticipate we’ll be able to better deploy self-driving technology in a way that can help people get what they need faster, while also supporting local businesses that are a big part of communities around the world.”

The test will include a pilot in a city yet to be announced, where Ford will eventually launch a fleet of self-driving vehicles.