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Walmart to Test Self-Driving Delivery Service With Ford and Argo AI

Walmart, partnering with Ford and Argo AI, will test a self-driving service to provide same-day delivery in three U.S. cities.

Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report will partner with Ford  (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report and Argo AI to launch its first self-driving delivery service at scale, starting in Miami, Austin and Washington.

The service will deliver Walmart orders in Ford cars using Argo's self-driving technology. 

Argo's cloud based infrastructure will integrate with Walmart’s online ordering platform to route orders and schedule package deliveries to customers’ homes.

“This collaboration will further our mission to get products to the homes of our customers with unparalleled speed and ease, and in turn, will continue to pave the way for autonomous delivery," Tom Ward, Walmart's senior vice president for last mile delivery, said in a statement.

With initial integration testing slated to begin later this year, the new delivery service will be available to Walmart customers within defined service areas of the three markets and will expand over time, the company said.

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The Bentonville, Ark., big-box retailer unveiled plans ahead of the holiday season as it targets same-day delivery in line with rivals Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report and Target  (TGT) - Get Target Corporation Report.

This will be retail giant Walmart's first multicity autonomous delivery collaboration in the U.S., the company said.

At last check, shares of Walmart were little changed at $144.22, while Ford, the Dearborn, Mich., vehicles giant, rose 1.6% to $13.06.

“Argo and Ford are aggressively preparing for large-scale autonomous vehicle operations across a broad footprint of U.S. cities," Scott Griffith, chief executive at Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Businesses, said in a statement.

Griffith added that this collaboration "marks a significant step toward scaling a commercial goods delivery service."