Kroger, one of America’s largest retail companies, announces a partnership with Mountain View, and the autonomous car manufacturer Nuro, to test the concept of driverless grocery delivery cars. The pilot which begun this week was tested at a Fry’s Food and Drug store in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“We are incredibly excited about the potential of our innovative partnership with Nuro to bring the future of grocery delivery to customers today,” says Yael Cosset, Kroger’s Chief Digital Officer.
The project aims to deploy Nuro’s purpose-built vehicle, the R1 custom vehicle. However, the project will only use low-end Toyota Prius self-driving cars, in its initial stages. Nuro in collaboration with many local retail businesses is trying to implement AI, robotics, and computer vision technology to discover innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver goods. “Partnering with Nuro will create customer value by providing Americans access to fast and convenient delivery at a fair price,” Cosset added.
The toaster-shaped Nuro’s fully electric, four-wheeled, unmanned car can carry up to 243 pounds of weight in its two separate compartments. Customers will access the compartments with a unique code which they received when the order was placed. A $6 delivery charges apply to all deliveries with no bar on the minimum purchase.
“Unmanned delivery will be a game-changer for local commerce… Our safe, reliable, and affordable service, combined with Kroger’s ubiquitous brand, is a powerful first step in our mission to accelerate the benefits of robotics for everyday life,” said Dave Ferguson, Co-Founder of Nuro.