The Kroger Company and driverless car maker Nuro said today they’re teaming up to offer fully autonomous grocery delivery. The companies didn’t say where the service will be offered first, or exactly when it will debut, but said that will be announced soon.
Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, said in a statement Thursday that sometime this fall, customers will have the option to select driverless delivery when they order from the local Kroger website.
“We are inventing the future of retailing,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Cincinnati, the city’s newspaper, the Enquirer, reported.
Privately-held Nuro, based in Mountain View, Calif., claims to be the maker of the first fully driverless road vehicle. It raised more than $90 million in private equity, and rolled out its grocery delivery vehicle back in January. The Kroger partnership will be the first use of Nuro’s software and vehicle.
“We are incredibly excited about the potential of our innovative partnership with Nuro to bring the future of grocery delivery to customers today,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “…We have already started to redefine the grocery customer experience and expand the coverage area for our anything, anytime and anywhere offering. Partnering with Nuro, a leading technology company, will create customer value by providing Americans access to fast and convenient delivery at a fair price.”
“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.”
We’ve been hard at work making our vision of local commerce a reality. Today, we can share our first concrete step in this mission.https://t.co/imw2tYxqGG
— Nuro (@nurobots) June 28, 2018
Kroger has 2,800 stores in 35 states.