Kroger, Nuro reveal the future of delivery
Kroger and Nuro have just launched the latest bit of extreme technology that will change the grocery delivery service game — the first-ever unmanned delivery service to the general public.
Since August, the companies have operated a self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, Ariz., with an autonomous Prius fleet accompanied by vehicle operators. The autonomous vehicles have completed nearly one thousand deliveries to the general public.
“Kroger customers are looking for new, convenient ways to feed their families and purchase the products they need quickly through services like pickup and delivery," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer. "Our autonomous delivery pilot with Nuro over the past few months continues to prove the benefit of the flexible and reliable technology. Through this exciting and innovative partnership, we are delivering a great customer experience and advancing Kroger's commitment to redefine the grocery experience by creating an ecosystem that offers our customers anything, anytime, and anywhere."
As other grocers seek to expand their digital markets, online ordering with provided last-mile solutions has become one of the fastest-growing markets. With the launch, the fleet is expanding to include Nuro's custom unmanned vehicle known as the R1, which travels on public roads and has no driver, no passengers and only transports goods. Nuro has been developing the R1 since 2016, and announced its partnership with Kroger in June.
"Nuro envisions a world without errands, where everything is on-demand and can be delivered affordably. Operating a delivery service using our custom unmanned vehicles is an important first step toward that goal," explained Dave Ferguson, Nuro president and co-founder.
Kroger experienced 60 percent digital sales growth in the third quarter, and its seamless coverage area now reaches more than 90 percent of customer households.
Delivery service details:
Where: Fry's Food Stores (single location): 7770 East McDowell Road, Scottsdale, Ariz., 85257.
When: Customers can place delivery orders immediately, for delivery seven days a week.
How: Customers shop via frysfood.com or the Fry's Food Stores mobile app and place their order based on slot availability.
What: Grocery orders can be scheduled for same-day or next-day delivery by Nuro's fleet of self-driving vehicles, now featuring the custom unmanned R1 as well as self-driving Prius vehicles.
Price: $5.95 flat fee; no minimum order