Hermes UK and Ford test ‘driverless’ delivery van

Hermes UK and Ford are testing the concept of autonomous vehicle delivery in the UK. This is part of the Ford European Self-Driving Vehicle Research Programme.

The two week trial will use a human driver but is set up to look like a self-driving vehicle. The specially trained driver will be hidden and the vehicle will behave in every other way as a self-driving van with pedestrian couriers equipped with a a smartphone app that allows them to hail the vehicle and remotely unlock the loading door before accessing the packages inside. It is designed to show Hermes UK how its teams can work alongside driverless vehicles, ensuring businesses processes occur safely without a driver in the van.

“As we plan to bring autonomous vehicles to the roads, it is important that we focus not only on enabling the technology but on enabling our customers’ businesses,” said Richard Balch, director, autonomous vehicles and mobility, Ford of Europe. “Clearly, there is no better way to identify how they may need to adapt than to experience those processes in real life.”