Scottsdale will be the pilot test area.
Autonomous driving is going to play a huge role in our lives soon enough, and companies like Amazon are already exploring ways of exploiting the new technology to add further convenience to their customers' shopping experiences. Walmart is another company investigating ways of using modern car tech to make shopping easier and has now taken another step towards streamlining the user experience by partnering with autonomous vehicle company Cruise. As you may already know, Cruise uses the Chevrolet Bolt as the basis for most of its innovations in the field of autonomy, and this partnership with Walmart will continue this trend.
The idea is that customers will be able to place an order from their local Walmart store and an autonomous vehicle will be sent to drop it off. However, to ensure safety, a human will be behind the wheel in any case. With the use of a Bolt EV, emissions will be dropped, and that's the end goal. Tom Ward, Walmart's senior vice president of customer product in the US, said: "Technology that has the potential to not only save customers time and money but also be helpful to the planet is technology we want to learn about."
The pilot program, which will run in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will likely start early next year, should give valuable insight into how to expand the service to other areas, thus helping Walmart achieve its goal of zero emissions by 2040.
Walmart is clearly taking this goal very seriously, having worked with the likes of Waymo, Udelv, Nuro, Postmates, Gatik, and Ford to explore new ways of reducing emissions while also allowing these companies to further their development of autonomous driving technology. The partnership with Cruise should be fruitful, as the company has been maintaining a fleet of self-driving Chevy Bolts in the Scottsdale area since at least 2016.
In a world where a pandemic can severely inhibit our desire to interact with other humans in person, the idea of having food and other necessities one day delivered to your door without seeing another person sounds like a good one.