When a major grocery store chain starts using driverless cars to deliver groceries, it’s a good sign that autonomous tech has gone mainstream.
Supermarket chain Kroger and autonomous robots startup Nuro announced Wednesday that the two were partnering to deliver groceries using a fleet of driverless delivery vehicles.
The autonomous vehicles will start delivering milk, eggs, and bread through a pilot program this fall in an unspecified market. Eventually Kroger is hoping to use Nuro’s vehicles at its 2,800 stores across America.
The driverless delivery vehicles will work with Kroger’s ClickList same-day ordering system and Nuro’s app. But the partnership takes ClickList one step further — instead of picking up your online order in your car, a self-driving vehicle will take your grocery list from the store to your front door.
Alisyn Malek, COO of autonomous vehicle startup May Mobility, sees the Nuro-Kroger partnership as taking on the so-called last-mile problem for packages and food orders.
“You’re really seeing companies that recognize that what works today in robotics is solving real challenges,” she said about the partnership.