Kroger is testing the use of self-driving cars for grocery deliveries as a pilot taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The test is performed in conjunction with Nuro, which is behind the first ever autonomous delivery car. The new serivce requires customers to purchase items via the Fry’s Food website or mobile app, after which point the vehicle will deliver the goods.
Kroger announced the news today, saying it only applies to the Fry’s Food Stores location in Scottsdale, Arizona. Customers who place an order will receive their products either the same day or the next day; they’ll be delivered in one of the Nuro R1 self-driving cars. The customer will unload the products, then the car will return to the store.
Orders can be placed starting today; there’s a flat delivery fee of $5.95 per delivery, but no minimum order is necessary. It’s an unprecedented level of convenience, enabling users to entirely avoid trips to the store, only requiring that someone is home to unload the items when the car appears.
Though some stores are testing services that eliminate aspects of the shopping burden, many require the custom to physically travel to the store, such as grocery pickups after placing an online order. A growing number of services will deliver items to the customer in person, but none utilize a self-driving car (until now).
Talking about the pilot is Kroger’s Chief Digital Officer Yael Cosset:
Kroger wants to bring more customers the convenience of affordable grocery delivery, and our pilot with Nuro will help us test and learn to understand customer acceptance of autonomous vehicles in our seamless offering.