Grocery giant Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) launched autonomous grocery deliveries today at Fry’s Food Store, a brand owned by Kroger, located at 7770 East McDowell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85257. Deliveries will have a flat rate of USD 5.95 for the service and allows customers to schedule for same day or next day delivery.
"We're excited to launch our autonomous vehicle delivery pilot with Fry's in Scottsdale," said Kroger 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.”
The technology for the autonomous delivery vehicles will be provided by Nuro, a self-driving vehicle startup. The deliveries will be made with modified Toyota Priuses with a safety driver in the vehicle. Kroger plans to transition to completely driverless vehicles, known as R1, by this fall. The R1 is smaller and lighter than a conventional car.
Dave Ferguson, Co-Founder of Nuro, stated back in May that the smaller and lighter design, along with the R1’s maximum speed of 25 mph, would make serious injuries less likely. He also claimed the significantly narrower design also gives the R1 an extra 3-4 feet of safety buffer in terms of width.
"Scottsdale is proud to be the home of Kroger and Nuro's partnership," said Scottsdale Mayor, Jim Lane. "We welcome innovative technology that can benefit the lives of Scottsdale residents. We feel this partnership holds tremendous potential and promise, and offers our residents real, not-yet-experienced convenience for everyday routines."