Nuro and The Kroger Co have announced the launch of the first-ever unmanned delivery service available to the general public. For more information see the IDTechEx report on Electric Vehicles and Autonomous Vehicles in Mining 2018-2028.
Since August, the companies have operated a self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, AZ with an autonomous Prius fleet accompanied by vehicle operators. The autonomous vehicles have completed nearly one thousand deliveries to the general public.
With the new launch, the fleet is expanding to include Nuro's custom unmanned vehicle known as the R1. The R1 travels on public roads and has no driver, no passengers and only transports goods. Nuro has been developing the R1 since 2016, and announced its partnership with Kroger, America's largest supermarket retailer, in June.
"Nuro envisions a world without errands, where everything is on-demand and can be delivered affordably. Operating a delivery service using our custom unmanned vehicles is an important first step toward that goal," explained Nuro President and co-founder Dave Ferguson.
"Kroger customers are looking for new, convenient ways to feed their families and purchase the products they need quickly through services like pickup and delivery," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer. "Our autonomous delivery pilot with Nuro over the past few months continues to prove the benefit of the flexible and reliable technology. Through this exciting and innovative partnership, we are delivering a great customer experience and advancing Kroger's commitment to redefine the grocery experience by creating an ecosystem that offers our customers anything, anytime, and anywhere."
Kroger experienced 60 percent digital sales growth in the third quarter, and its seamless coverage area now reaches more than 90 percent of customer households.
While this first unmanned service represents the culmination of many years of work, it also represents another beginning. For this may be the first, but it will be followed by many more: more vehicles, more cities, and more services. Together with others in the industry, to usher in new ways to provide transportation, and more time, to everyone.
Source: Kroger Co and Nuro
Top image: Nuro