Walmart has announced a partnership with autonomous vehicle company Nuro to test autonomous grocery delivery in the Houston market in 2020. The driverless technology will deliver groceries to customers who place an online order and opt into the service.
“Nuro’s vision of using robotics to improve lives runs parallel with Walmart’s mission of helping customers live better,” says Tom Ward, senior vice president, digital operations, Walmart U.S. “Through the Houston-based pilot, Walmart aims to develop, refine and continue learning how to offer the best end-to-end customer experience. Walmart is committed to delivering groceries – with a side of time-saving convenience – through our ever-expanding Grocery Pickup and Delivery service. Our unparalleled size and scale have allowed us to steer grocery delivery to the front doors of millions of families – and design a roadmap for the future of the industry. Along the way, we’ve been test-driving a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to our customers’ front doors through self-driving technology. We believe this technology is a natural extension of our Grocery Pickup and Delivery service and our goal of making every day a little easier for customers. We’re already bringing the best of Walmart to our customers through Grocery Pickup and Delivery. By continuing to test autonomous vehicle capabilities, we’re better able to understand the path self-driving technology can take us down the road.”
The service will involve R2, Nuro’s custom-built delivery vehicle, as well as autonomous Toyota Priuses. In addition to Walmart, Nuro recently partnered with Kroger in 2018 to test autonomous delivery, and will now test the second generation of the autonomous cars with Domino’s and Walmart.