Supermarket Stop & Shop has announced plans to launch driverless grocery vehicles in the Greater Boston area this spring, in a partnership with self-driving grocery store start-up Robomart.
Robomart’s vehicles will carry a selection of Stop & Shop produce, meal kits and convenience items to customers, allowing them to shop on their doorsteps. The supermarket says that the service will help to address customers’ desire to choose their own fresh produce when they shop online or via mobile.
“This is one way in which we’re leveraging new technology to make shopping easier for our customers - by essentially bringing the store to them,” said Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan.
“We also recognize that many of our customers want the opportunity to make their own choices when it comes to fresh produce, and we’re proud to be the first retailer to engage with Robomart to address our customers’ needs with their cutting-edge solution.”
Robomart’s self-driving grocery stores are electric and controlled remotely. To ensure customers have a wide selection of produce, the teleoperated vehicles can be restocked throughout the journey.
Customers will use a smartphone app to summon the self-driving store, before choosing the products they would like to buy. The vehicle’s technology then records their selection and emails them a receipt.
“For decades, consumers had the convenience of their local greengrocer and milkman coming door to door, and we believe that by leveraging driverless technology we can recreate that level of convenience and accessibility,” said Ali Ahmed, Founder & CEO of Robomart.
“We’re extremely excited to bring our vision to life with Stop & Shop, one of the most pioneering and forward-thinking grocery chains in the world.”