The Kroger Company is considering a new test of driverless grocery delivery vehicles in Arizona.
New self-driving cars designed by Nuro, a Silicon Valley startup, could soon be delivering your groceries right to your door. Nuro was started two years ago by engineers who worked on the Google self-driving car project now known as “Waymo.” Now, they’re partnered with Kroger, a Cincinnati-based company that owns Fry’s grocery stores in Arizona.
This Thursday, Kroger announced that a new driverless delivery service will start by the end of this year. When the new service begins, customers will be able to order their groceries from a mobile app. When their order is placed, a self-driving vehicle will deliver the groceries at the curb where the customer can retrieve their items. The vehicles will likely have a numeric code that allows the customer to unlock the car.
Specific locations have yet to be announced. Nuro’s co-founder Dave Ferguson said testing will likely take place in Fry’s around Arizona and California.
After successful testing occurs, Kroger plans to expand the program. The company now operates 1,200 stores that offer grocery delivery driven by employees. When the driverless car program expands, Kroger plans to reassign their drivers to customer service.
Kroger hopes this new technology will decrease delivery fees for their customers.