Self-driving vehicles are hitting some roads but not all of them are intended to carry people.
Kroger, America’s largest supermarket retailer with stores in 35 states, has started its driverless vehicle grocery delivery trial in Arizona.
In June, Kroger announced its partnership with Nuro to launch on-road, fully autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries and now the pilot has started.
The trial is starting with a single location, Fry’s Food Store in Scottsdale, where customer can now place delivery orders. Shopping can be done online or through the store’s mobile app and orders are based on slot availability.
For a flat fee of $5.95, groceries can be scheduled for delivery the same day or next day by Nuro’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. Customers receive a text message when the groceries are on the way and can track the vehicle live on a map.
When in operation, the Nuro vehicles have a remote operator monitoring, with the capability of taking over in the event of a “potential unmanaged risk,” according to Nuro.
At the start of the program this week, a fleet of self-driving Priuses is being used and the robotic R1 are slated to be added in the fall.
“Our goal is to save people time, while operating safely and learning how we can further improve the experience,” stated Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson.
This is not the only concept for delivering things rather than people in autonomous vehicles. Ford is working on self-driving vehicles for Domino’s Pizza deliveries, Toyota introduced a concept vehicle that could deliver food and Boeing is working on creating pilotless aircraft.