No more wasting time at the supermarket.
Autonomous cars have the potential to drastically change the way our society operates, making certain driving-related professions completely obsolete. We've already seen Ford team up with Domino's to create self-driving pizza delivery vehicles. Now Kroger, America's largest supermarket retailer, has teamed up with Nuro to create and test self-driving vehicles. Nuro is a Silicon Valley-based robotics company, but is new to building autonomous cars. The company was founded by two ex-Google engineers who worked on Google's self-driving car.
Kroger says it will launch a test pilot with Nuro's self-driving grocery delivery vehicles. The pilot will begin this fall, but Kroger hasn't announced which market will be the test bed for the service. Customers will be able to place an order on Kroger's ClickList ordering system and Nuro's app, and the service will offer same-day delivery. When the autonomous shuttle arrives, the groceries will be divided into individual locking sections. Customers will be able to access their groceries using their smartphone. By the looks of the prototype, the sections will likely offer refrigeration to keep the food fresh for delivery.
All told, Kroger operates 2,800 stores in 35 states, so this type of technology could spread quickly if it works well. "Unmanned delivery will be a game-changer for local commerce, and together with Kroger, we're thrilled to test this new delivery experience to bring grocery customers new levels of convenience and value," said Dave Ferguson, Co-Founder, Nuro. "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."