Commentary

Kroger Starts Grocery Deliveries In Self-Driving Vehicles

Self-driving vehicles may be better for carrying things than people.

Kroger is starting to demonstrate this in its just launched autonomous grocery delivery service in Houston.

The grocery retailer has been working with Nuro, which created a self-driving service to transport local goods.

The first deliveries in Houston are from the store on South Oak Road with two more stores set to start within the next few months.

Customers shop on the Kroger mobile app and schedule same-day or next-day delivery, for a flat fee charge of $6 with no minimum order.

Kroger and Nuro earlier tested the service in Scottsdale, Arizona, and then moved it to Houston.  

The service started with Nuro’s self-driving Toyota Prius fleet, with a safety driver, with plans to move to the Nuro custom driverless vehicle later this year. That rolling device carries only things, not people.

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"Kroger continues to redefine the customer experience, and we're thrilled to provide our customers with a new way to have their groceries delivered,” states Marlene Stewart, Kroger's Houston division president.

Earlier this year, Softbank invested $940 million in Nuro. Softbank has also invested $500 million in Uber and recently put $333 million more into Uber’s automated ridesharing service, with a promise of $300 million more over the next few years.

However, various automotive industry leaders have recently been backing off from any short-term visions of fully autonomous cars hitting the roads in large numbers any time soon.

Fully self-driving vehicles to carry people at scale are some time off.

The smarter action is in autonomous technology that moves actual things.

1 comment about "Kroger Starts Grocery Deliveries In Self-Driving Vehicles".
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  1. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , April 22, 2019 at 9:23 p.m.

    PLEASE ..PLEASE.....PLEASE tell me WHAT  KIND OF ANY ADVANTAGE IS THERE TO
    HAVING A "GRO-CART" pull up and deliver groceries??? Stores did this back in the early 1900's up toward the 60's and used vehicles and drivers.  Auto makers made "sedan deliveries" to handle the deliveries.   What am I missin here???  The previous method provided doorstep convenience for the customer, now you gotta go to the curb, pay six bucks and bring you groceries through the weather.  What am I not seeing that this is such a waste of money??  Food City is big where I live, they offer home delivery, and have a  refrigerated delivery van that is a rolling billboard.   I can't wait for one of these gro-carts to get hijacked and someone takes a crow-bar  to the UNMANNED traffic obstacles.

    I repeat Kroger :  You have to hire extra people to do the shopping and load the gro-carts, and YOU COMPLETELY LOSE THE IMPULSE BUYERS.  Millennials don't plan for anything, they will be ordering for one meal at a time, and since they don't know what cash is, they can't connect a value to anything they buy.

    The onbly answer to this has to be "Cause we can"? 

    Soft-bank will be in the Chapter 7/11 books with their investment strategy.

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