American grocery giant Kroger is aggressive on leveraging the unmanned technology to its retail business. On Thursday, it announced teaming up with the autonomous vehicle startup Nuro to launch driverless delivery system in the US. Before that, Kroger invested in the British-based Ocado technology for autonomous grocery packing in the warehouse.
Sharing a vision for future retailing, Kroger and Nuro have joined hands to deliver a fresh, convenient and innovative shopping experience to the retail customers. This latest retail-tech partnership throws a spotlight on the last-mile delivery of grocery items.
Underpinning this guiding thought, the American customers can now simply book same-day delivery orders through Kroger's ClickList ordering system and Nuro's app. The fleet of Nuro’s autonomous vehicles will deliver the orders on the doorsteps of the customers during the pilot testing this year.
"We are incredibly excited about the potential of our innovative partnership with Nuro to bring the future of grocery delivery to customers today," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's Chief Digital Officer.
Scope of Driverless Delivery System
Earlier this month, Kroger released the first quarter 2018 report that mentioned that its digital sales had grown 66 percent.
The American grocery giant Kroger has a retail presence of 2,800 stores in 35 states. Still Cosset added, "We cannot just rely on physical stores to reach all of our customers for delivery and pick-up," reports CNBC. By combining with Nuro's technology platform, Kroger will change the monotonous grocery delivery system.
“Unmanned delivery will be a game-changer for local commerce, and together with Kroger, we're thrilled to test this new delivery experience to bring grocery customers new levels of convenience and value," echoes Dave Ferguson, Co-Founder, Nuro.
Ferguson, ex-Google engineer along with his colleague, Jiajun Zhu launched the autonomous vehicle startup, Nuro at the beginning of this year. The company created hype from Day One because of its niche strategy.
Though the Nuro founders got their expertise on self-driving vehicles through leading Google’s project Waymo, the scope of their vision is limited up to building a local goods transportation vehicle.
For this, the duo engineers designed an entirely new autonomous vehicle that does not include seats for any passenger/driver but large storage space for grocery, laundry and food items.
"Our safe, reliable, and affordable service, combined with Kroger's ubiquitous brand, is a powerful first step in our mission to accelerate the benefits of robotics for everyday life," stated Ferguson.
In the age of e-commerce, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, and robotics thriving, Nuro driverless delivery system is an incredible innovation to reduce traffic congestion and create a convenient and faster shopping environment.
Escalating Grocery Delivery System
The up-trend in online shopping has pushed the global e-commerce companies to focus on enlarging the geographical reach, beefing up the stock assortment and fastening delivery system.
Amazon recently declared to enhance the scope of its delivery business network. Two months back, the e-commerce giant also initiated free, a two-hour delivery system in association with Whole Foods for its Prime members and is actively adding new cities to this program.
The world’s largest retailer Walmart has declared to boost its online grocery delivery market from 6 to 100 by this year end. Another supermarket player, Target teamed up with Shipt, a startup that delivers groceries on the same day as they are ordered.
Following the footsteps, the second largest supermarket in the US, Kroger also strengthened partnership with Instacart to boost delivery coverage area. And now it has taken an advanced step in building a driverless delivery system for its grocery business.