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03/05/2021

Albertsons testing remote-controlled delivery

The retailer is delivering groceries via remote-controlled cart at certain Safeway stores in Northern California.
David Salazar
Managing Editor
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Albertsons’ Safeway banner is testing out a remote-controlled delivery cart via a partnership with last-mile logistics company Tortoise. The Safeway cart is being piloted in Northern California neighborhoods, bringing orders directly to customers’ doors.

The cart is equipped with a camera and a speaker, and a remote operator guides it through the neighborhood. It can hold as much as 120 lbs. of groceries in four locking containers to offer a contactless delivery experience. The battery-powered cart is designed to deliver groceries and parcels safely at an average speed of 3 mph, powered by an electric battery. 

Shoppers receive a text message when the cart arrives at their home and they can go outside to pick up their order. In the early stages of the pilot, Safeway associates are accompanying the cart.  

“Our team is obsessed with trying new and disruptive technologies that can bring more convenience for our customers,” said Chris Rupp, Albertons executive vice president and chief digital officer. “We are willing to quickly test, learn, and implement winning innovations that ensure we are offering the easiest and most convenient shopping experience in the entire industry.”

The cart and partnership with Tortoise are the latest in the retailer's efforts to deliver more contactless grocery solutions for its customers. In October, the company debuted pickup lockers in Chicago and the Bay area, and in January it added a pickup kiosk at Chicago Jewel-Osco store.