Ford 'Autolivery' concept: an autonomous van with a delivery drone

Ford envisions a future in which autonomous electric vans will work alongside drones to deliver items to people located in urban areas. Calling it the 'autolivery' concept, the idea here is that self-driving cars could be used to deliver packages, but it would require a little something extra — something to get the package to where it needs to go, places a van isn't likely able to access, and without the use of a human.

The concept was made for the company's Last Mile Mobility Challenge, and it is being shown off at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The automaker bills this as being part of its 'City of Tomorrow' vision in which smart technologies will change the way things work in cities.

City residents could benefit from such a delivery service, in part, by rapidly getting packages without having to head out to the store themselves, reducing road congestion. Such a delivery contraption could also help meet the increasingly high number of online deliveries in places around the world.

Of course, this is a concept and it isn't yet an actual vehicle, nor should we expect to see it become one in the immediate future. Instead, the concept serves to highlight one possible way in which growing autonomous and drone technologies could be leveraged for the most crucial part of the package delivery trip: the distance between the roadside and the customer's front door.