ALEXANDRIA, Virginia – Despite controversy regarding the safety and benefits of driverless autos, two separate tests of driverless grocery delivery will gear up this fall.
Kroger will test a no-driver delivery service in partnership with Nuro, a Silicon Valley tech company, in yet-to-be-announced cities, according to USA Today. Customers participating in the test program will be able to order groceries through the Kroger ClickList ordering system and the Nuro app. They’ll receive same-day delivery from an electric vehicle that is about the size of an SUV and able to carry up to 20 bags of groceries.
Customers will be given a code that permits them to open the vehicle and retrieve their shopping bags. Obviously, customers must be at home to accept delivery.
Robomart, a driverless grocery store startup, will begin tests in Santa Clara, California, in a few months, reports Venturebeat.com. The Robomarts will be teleoperated throughout the test, which will be conducted at the company’s private facility instead of on public streets.
The initial test will involve six Robomart driverless vehicles that transport fruits, vegetables, other perishable items, snacks and candy. When the service officially rolls out, customers will be able to call a Robomart using a smartphone app and pay for purchases through a cashless payment system.
Americans are expected to spend $100 billion on online grocery shopping by 2022, according to research from the Food Marketing Institute and Nielsen.