It’s Not Delivery, It’s Driverless Delivery

It’s Not Delivery, It’s Driverless Delivery

Ford is developing a program with Postmates to offer food delivery using self-driving cars.

Ford made waves in February 2018 with news of its self-driving service in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

Inside the self-driving cars are lockers of different sizes to accommodate food and/or other products to be delivered to customers on the same route.  Customers will receive a text with an access code to retrieve their order from a designated locker when the delivery arrives.  The program is set to be operational in 2021.

This post is based on the Fortune.com article, Ford Is Working on a Self-Driving Delivery Service with Postmates, by Erin Corbett, June 1, 2018; and the YouTube video Miami: The First Proving Ground for Ford’s Self-Driving Service, February 27, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Scharfsinn.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the implications of Ford’s investment in self-driving cars for food delivery from an operations management perspective?

Guidance: This question could be moved in multiple directions, from using the move to position itself as an industry leader in innovative design and production of self-driving cars, to expanding the demand for self-driving cars and applications for driverless vehicles, to increasing its competitiveness Continue reading

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Cashier-Free Walmarts?

Cashier-Free Walmarts?

Microsoft is talking to Walmart about launching check-out free stores with technology developed by the software giant. Shopping carts would be equipped with cameras to track and charge items that shoppers drop into the cart, eliminating the check-out process.

This post is based on TheVerge.com post, Microsoft reportedly working on rival Amazon Go tech for cashier-free stores, by Tom Warren, June 14, 2018. Image source: Purestock/SuperStock.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the strategic implications of a check-out free store for Walmart?

Guidance: Some implications of offering check-out free shopping affect both quality and time strategies for Walmart.  Shoppers’ experiences are improved as they do not need to wait in line for check out.  Check-out issues such as scanning errors or omission are also minimized

2. What is a key consideration in designing a check-out free service?

Guidance:  There are many. One obvious consideration is research and development. Microsoft is experimenting with cameras attached to shopping carts to track items and charge them to the shopper’s account through its cloud service. Privacy and data security are other considerations.

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