Walmart (NYSE: WMT) announced it is investing in Cruise, a self-driving vehicle company primarily owned by General Motors’. Despite not detailing the size of the investment, the deal is part of Walmart’s USD2.75 Billion funding round.
The two companies have been working together since November while developing a pilot program for Cruise in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“This investment is a marker for us – it shows our commitment to bringing the benefit of self-driving cars to our customers and business,” Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner said in a blog post on Thursday. “We’re excited to join Cruise’s already impressive partner and investor ecosystem with the likes of GM, Honda and Microsoft as we work towards pioneering this emerging technology.”
Cruise’s vehicles are all-electric, another benefit for Walmart as it aims to reach certain environmental goals. Just this week the retailer revealed plans to help in the protection of pollinator populations.
“As delivery has become a staple in our customers’ lives, we’re focused on growing our last mile ecosystem in a way that’s beneficial for everyone – customers, business and the planet,” Furner wrote in a post on the Walmart website.
According to a Walmart spokeswoman, the company will continue to partner with other autonomous vehicle companies in spite of the investment.
Many consumer companies have begun to focus their investments towards the performance of their delivery service. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic customers have resorted to having everything from home goods to groceries delivered to their doors.
“Working from home and a growing desire to shop online are challenging retailers and consumer goods companies to fundamentally rethink how they cater to the pandemic-adapted consumer,” Accenture, an Irish multinational company, wrote in a recent report following a global survey of 9,650 consumers.