Kroger to experiment with grocery delivery via self-driving cars

Posted at 10:15 AM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 10:52:27-04

CINCINNATI -- Did you expect them to stop at robot-powered warehouses?

The Kroger Co. has announced yet another new partnership to redefine grocery shopping.

Kroger will conduct a pilot test with Mountain View, California-based Nuro to deliver groceries with fully autonomous vehicles. Kroger isn't saying where the service will be tested, only that it will be announced soon and begin this fall.

The partnership with Nuro follows a blockbuster announcement last month that Kroger will develop up to 20 robot-powered warehouses in a partnership with Ocado, a British online grocer. Kroger is also acquiring the Chicago-based meal kit company, Home Chef.

"We are incredibly excited about the potential of our innovative partnership with Nuro to bring the future of grocery delivery to customers today," says Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer, in a press release. The deal "will create customer value by providing Americans access to fast and convenient delivery at a fair price."

Nuro was founded in 2016 by the principal engineers of Google's self-driving car project. This will be the first application and deployment of Nuro's hardware and software for commercial use.

"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," said Dave Ferguson, Co-Founder of Nuro. "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."