Kroger Begins Using Autonomous Vehicles for Deliveries
Kroger has started using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries in Scottsdale, Arizona in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro. The delivery service follows a pilot program started by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro’s R1, a custom unmanned vehicle. Kroger said the service would be available in Scottsdale at its unit Fry’s Food Stores for $5.95 with no minimum order requirement for same-day or next-day deliveries.
Total Retail's Take: The delivery battles rage on as grocers and other retailers seek out ways to get customers their orders as quickly and cost efficiently as possible. For example, both Walmart and Amazon.com have invested significantly in improving their delivery options, particularly for grocery, one of the fastest-growing online categories. In Kroger's case, its use of autonomous vehicles is cutting edge, but something that we may see gain wider adoption if it proves to be a safe, convenient and cost-effective option for retailers. With more purchasing occurring online, the challenge of delivering orders quickly and at a low cost is top of mind for retailers.