US supermarket chain Kroger has announced a partnership with self-driving vehicle developer Nuro to pilot an on-road, fully autonomous delivery experience for American customers.
During the pilot, customers will be able to place same-day delivery orders using Kroger’s ordering system and Nuro’s app. These orders will then be delivered by Nuro’s autonomous vehicle fleet, in the first application and deployment of the company’s hardware and software. The pilot market has yet to be announced, but deliveries are expected to start later this year.
“We are incredibly excited about the potential of our innovative partnership with Nuro to bring the future of grocery delivery to customers today,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer.
“Partnering with Nuro, a leading technology company, will create customer value by providing Americans access to fast and convenient delivery at a fair price,” added Cosset.
Nuro Co-Founder Dave Ferguson said: “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.
“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.”
Other companies to trial autonomous grocery deliveries include UK online retailer Ocado, whose Ocado Technology division partnered with self-driving vehicle developer Oxbotica to carry out the UK’s first driverless grocery delivery.