The American companies Ford and Walmart will soon begin working together to design a delivery service that uses self-driving vehicles.

The project grew out of the car company Ford’s efforts to develop businesses that could use self-driving delivery vehicles. Ford has already been working with the delivery company Postmates to develop the service.

Ford said its new project with Walmart will take place in and around Miami, Florida. The project will deliver goods ordered at Walmart stores through Postmates.

It will begin with human-driven vehicles to see how a self-driving vehicle would behave. Ford has said it expects to launch wider production of self-driving vehicles by 2021.

Brian Wolf is with Ford’s self-driving vehicle group. He wrote in a blog post that the companies will test to see which goods, especially groceries, can be delivered successfully.

In a statement, Tom Ward of Walmart said, “Before self-driving cars can go mainstream, we must get a better sense of how people want to interact with them.”

That may require new designs or equipment for the self-driving vehicles. Wolf said that Ford is designing storage systems on the vehicles for customers to receive goods and groceries.

Walmart has more stores around the United States than any other company. It is competing with Amazon.com and other online companies to deliver goods.

The use of self-driving delivery vehicles instead of human-driven ones could reduce costs for Walmart. But self-driving technology remains costly, and the industry is still waiting for rules to be set by local governments.

Exercise 1

Vocabulary

Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.

 

grocery (n.) /ˈgroʊsri/ - ood sold by a grocer : food bought at a store

  • She stopped to pick up some groceries for supper.

mainstream (n.) /ˈmeɪnˌstriːm/ - the thoughts, beliefs, and choices that are accepted by the largest number of people

  • His ideas are well outside the mainstream of political opinion.

interact (v.) /ˌɪntɚˈækt/ -  to talk or do things with other people

  • They're quiet children who don't interact much.

customer (n.) /ˈkʌstəmɚ/ - someone who buys goods or services from a business

  • Remember, the customer is always right.

 

Exercise 2

Questions

Answer these questions about the article.

 

  1. What kind of vehicle is Ford developing?
  2. Where will be the first place of testing?
  3. What will this vehicle do?
  4. Is self driving technology expensive?

 

 

Exercise 3

Debate

Please give your opinion on the following statement and give your reasons behind it.

  • Self driving vehicles are the way of the future

 

Exercise 4 

Discussion

Have a discussion on following questions.

  1. Would you try a self driving car?
  2. Would you trust it?
  3. Would you try and buy groceries this way?
  4. Did you ever buy groceries online?
  5. Do you often buy things online?
  6. What do you commonly buy?

Source

This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.