Ford will place next self-driving fleet in Washington D.C.

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Ford is working with Domino's Pizza and Postmates in Miami.

Ford Motor Co. intends to make the capital of the country a pillar in its strategy to develop self-driving vehicles commercially.

Starting next year, the company plans to test its autonomous driving technology in Washington, D.C., pending a commercial launch in 2021 that focuses on both passenger and parcel deliveries, according to a person familiar with the plan.

Ford declined to comment, but the automaker is scheduled to make an official announcement of the plan on Monday afternoon.

Cars operated by Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based technology company that builds Ford's self-governing system, have already started charting the city in anticipation of next year's tests.

Washington will mark the second city in which Ford will start commercial operations in 2021. Earlier this year, the company began testing in Miami, Florida. In the first tests there, Ford officials have launched a fleet of an operating theater that is so much focused on developing a business model as it is in perfecting its self-driving technology. Ford is working with Domino's Pizza and Postmates in Miami.

Broadly speaking, the latest announcement comes at a time when Ford and CEO Jim Hackett have come under pressure to better articulate a long-term strategy for reversing the company's slumping share price. As part of that strategy, Ford has split a subsidiary, Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, with the intention of seeking external investments in its business based on automated management technology.