DALLAS—Soon, robots will be delivering snacks to Dallas residents. Vroom Delivery has partnered with last-mile delivery robot operator Tortoise and Dallas convenience retailer Urban Value Corner Store to bring on-demand delivery for thousands of products to consumers’ doors in the coming months. Products will include grocery staples such as milk and eggs, as well as beverages, ice cream, snacks and more, all delivered in under an hour. Alcohol and tobacco items will also be available for delivery from human drivers.
“We are very excited to pilot this first-in-market contactless shopping opportunity,” said Steve McKinley, CEO of Urban Value, in a press release. “I expect that this technology combined with our diverse product offering will provide downtown Dallas residents and office staff a much more convenient shopping experience.”
Each delivery robot is about the size of a large cooler and is remotely piloted, ensuring a human is always at the wheel. The robots operate on the sidewalks and drive at an average speed of around 3 mph, allowing them to safely navigate around people, cars, pets, and other obstacles. The all-electric-powered cart can carry over 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator when it arrives at its destination.
The Vroom and Tortoise partnership allows for a contactless, zero-emission and affordable home delivery option, mitigating sustainability and congestion challenges. Urban Value, which operates stores in and around the Dallas area, will initially pilot the program from its downtown location. Upon the success of the initial trial, the program will roll out across the metroplex.
“In addition to the obvious contactless and environmental benefits, what we like about this concept is that this is also a very affordable solution for both the store and the consumer, significantly lowering the average cost of delivery,” said John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery.
Customers can already order delivery from Urban Value for home delivery through the Vroom platform, with robots taking up the last mile responsibilities within the coming months. Vroom Delivery and Tortoise are interested in working with other convenience store chains across the country on this delivery option.
Last-mile services are hot commodities to consumers and a growth area for convenience retailers. Read more about “Covering the Last Mile” as well as how “Robots Deliver” in NACS Magazine.