Kroger Partners with Nuro to Launch Autonomous Delivery Service
- by Robert Schaulis
HOUSTON, TX - One of the U.S.’s largest grocers is partnering with tech company Nuro to launch a new program and bring autonomous grocery delivery services to Texans. The two companies first launched their autonomous delivery fleet in Scottsdale, Arizona, in August last year, and later expanded to include Nuro's custom vehicle, R1, marking the nation's first fully unmanned delivery service available to the general public.
“Our Arizona pilot program confirmed the flexibility and benefits provided by autonomous vehicles and how much customers are open to more innovative solutions,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger's Chief Digital Officer, in a press release. “It's always been our shared vision to scale this initiative to new markets, using world-changing technology to enable a new type of delivery service for our customers. We operate 102 stores in Houston—an energetic market that embraces digital and technology advancement. The launch is one more way we are committed to sustainably providing our customers with anything, anytime, and anywhere, the way they want it.”
Through their first pilot, both companies have successfully and safely completed thousands of deliveries to customers in Scottsdale. According to that press release, Kroger and Nuro’s Scottsdale pilot proved the companies' combined technology and digital expertise can transform the grocery delivery experience.
With the upcoming launch, Kroger and Nuro will transfer the autonomous grocery delivery program to Houston for the next phase of the pilot, creating precedent for the two to scale up operations throughout the U.S.
“We've seen first-hand in Arizona how enthusiastic customers are about getting their Kroger groceries delivered by a Nuro self-driving vehicle,” said Nuro Co-Founder, Dave Ferguson. “Texas has been a leader in encouraging self-driving innovation, and we're excited to help deliver that future for Houston—a dynamic, diverse, and welcoming metropolitan city that we're excited to soon explore and serve with this autonomous delivery service.”
Kroger and Nuro will begin the service with Nuro's self-driving Toyota Prius fleet and will introduce the next generation of the custom driverless vehicle later this year. Autonomous same-day and next-day delivery services will be available seven days a week through kroger.com, servicing Houston residents in four local zip codes through its 0306 South Post Oak Road, Houston, TX, and 5150 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX, locations.
Will Kroger and Nuro continue to expand their partnership, scaling their autonomous delivery services nationwide? Could a fleet of robots be the next step in getting fresh food into customers’ hands? AndNowUKnow will continue to report.