BOISE, Idaho—Albertsons Companies has partnered with Tortoise to pilot its remote-controlled zero-emission delivery cart at Safeway grocery stores in Northern California.
Tortoise was the top pick during GMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s first virtual Startup Mic-Drop series, a 2021 program where innovative startups can make their pitch to retail industry professionals. The first of six Mic-Drop events took place on March 4, putting Tortoise in the running for the Mic-Drop Showdown and grand prize at the end of the year.
The Safeway cart powered by Tortoise is equipped with a camera and a speaker and is guided through the neighborhood by a remote operator. The cart can hold up to 120 pounds of groceries in four lockable containers for contactless delivery.
When carts arrive at their destinations, customers receive a text to come outside and pick up their groceries. The carts are specifically designed to deliver groceries and parcels in a safe manner, traveling at an average speed of 3 mph and powered 100% by an electric battery.
Currently, the service is open for testing with Safeway associates in select Northern California neighborhoods. In these early stages, an escort will accompany the cart as part of the pilot process.