Your daily dose of Austin
Smartphone image
Make your inbox more Austin.
Local news and fun, every day 6am.
Company behind 'robotaxis' is moving into driverless delivery

Argo AI will bring driverless rideshare and delivery to Austin. (Argo AI)

Brought to you by the same company that plans on integrating driverless taxis onto Austin streets, Argo AI and Ford are partnering with Walmart to have groceries delivered via robotaxi right to your door.

Equipped with Argo AI's self-driving technology and groceries in tow, the partnership is set to debut in Austin from the East Ben White Boulevard Walmart; Miami and Washington D.C. sometime this year.

The announcement comes off the heels of Argo AI's partnership with Lyft, which will bring driverless taxis to passengers in 2022. Although Walmart has been working with autonomous vehicles since 2018, this new partnership will help meet pandemic-fueled demand and grow the delivery process, according to Walmart U.S. Senior Vice President of last-mile delivery Tom Ward.

"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," Ward said in a release.

Initially, the process will start with small fleets of autonomous vehicles and expand delivery access over time. According to Ford's autonomous vehicles and mobility businesses CEO Scott Griffith, this is just the beginning of autonomous vehicles scaling across U.S. cities.

"Pairing Walmart's retail and e-commerce leadership with Argo and Ford's self-driving operations across these multiple cities marks a significant step toward scaling a commercial goods delivery service that will ultimately power first-to-scale business efficiencies and enable a great consumer experience," Griffith said in a release.

Austin has long been a hub for emerging AI technology—Waymo, an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary and Argo AI competitor, operated in Austin from 2015-2019. Waymo now operates autonomous vehicles out of Arizona. And delivery robots were seen this year when Refraction AI partnered with Southside Flying Pizza to deliver to Austin homes.


As summer temperatures continue to increase, so does Austin's "Party Island"—a hundreds-strong army of kayakers and paddle boarders who gather each weekend in the middle of Lady Bird Lake.

Keep ReadingShow less
Trip to Dallas-Fort Worth: Our 15-year-old granddaughter thinks it’s the 'cool' Texas


If you are a committed, grunge-wearing resident of the Pacific Northwest, it is easy–almost automatic–to look at Texas as an extraordinarily dry, hot and culturally oppressive place that is better to avoid, especially in the summer. Our two granddaughters live with their parents in Portland.

Recently we decided to take the older girl, who is 15, to Dallas. Setting aside the summer heat, a Portlander can adjust to the vibes of Austin without effort. So let’s take Texas with all of its excesses straight up. Dallas, here we come.

Keep ReadingShow less