Kroger is working in partnership with Nuro to deliver groceries in Scottsdale, Arizona.
"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."
First unmanned delivery service available to the general public
Kroger is using Nuro’s R1 vehicle, which travels without a driver on public roads, transporting goods only. The R1 has been in development since 2016 and the partnership with Kroger was announced in June. Kroger had previously been using Prius vehicles, with vehicle operators to complete nearly 1,000 customer deliveries.
Reducing last mile costs
Orders are placed online or through the Fry’s Food Stores mobile app and customers choose same or next day delivery. There is no minimum order amount, although a flat delivery fee of $5.95 does apply. Customers receive a code when their order is placed, allowing to unlock the relevant compartment of the vehicle and retrieve their order.
Reducing costs in the last mile of delivery could provide significant cost savings for Kroger and there is potential for scaling this model further.