Kroger launches autonomous grocery delivery service in Scottsdale

Last month Kroger announced it would start offering autonomous curbside delivery to customers who live in Scottsdale’s 85257 zip code and order groceries online from its Scottsdale Fry’s location on McDowell Road.

The company partnered with startup Nuro, which provides the autonomous vehicles that bring the groceries to customers’ curbs. Nuro is the creator of the first self-driving delivery vehicle, according to a press release.

“Scottsdale is proud to be the home of Kroger and Nuro’s partnership,” Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane said in the press release.

“We welcome innovative technology that can benefit the lives of Scottsdale residents. We feel this partnership holds tremendous potential and promise and offers our residents real, not-yet-experienced convenience for everyday routines.”

Customers can order their groceries either through the store’s website or mobile app, then schedule a delivery based on the vehicles’ availability. The vehicle brings the groceries to the curb, and customers meet it outside to unload it and bring the items inside.

There is a $5.95 flat fee for delivery with no minimum purchase required.

Nuro is beginning the pilot using Toyota Priuses but will transition into using its custom electric R1 delivery vehicle later this fall.

According to Ars Technica, the R1 delivery has a max speed of 25 miles per hour. It is also much narrower than a normal car, which Nuro says adds to its safety features because it has a 3- to 4-foot buffer barrier on both sides.

“Arizona is home to some of the most innovative autonomous vehicle testing,” Nuro Co-founder Dave Ferguson said in the press release.

“We’re proud to contribute and turn our vision for local commerce into a real, accessible service that residents of Scottsdale can use immediately. Our goal is to save people time while operating safely and learning how we can further improve the experience.”

Jessica Swarner

Author: Jessica Swarner

Jessica is a recent graduate of ASU where she studied political science and journalism. She is currently a researcher at a local cybersecurity company. Her hobbies include reading up on hacker forums on Tor and giving unsolicited podcast recommendations.

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