Ocado has announced it’s investing in developing driverless vehicles and robots that could be used to deliver groceries.
Seeking new global partnerships
Tim Steiner, Ocado’s chief executive, told the NRF Big Show, the world’s largest retail conference and exposition, that the online grocer is eying to develop “things like driverless technology” and “what jumps out of that vehicle with the groceries and gives them to the customer.”
The statement from Mr Steiner is the latest indication that Ocado is moving towards becoming a technology provider in the retail industry, rather than just an online retailer. He adds: “We’re obviously innovating all the time. We’re working on really far-out research and development technology and how we can leverage those for our clients.”
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided, back in August, to de-designate Ocado as a retailer, following its joint venture with Marks & Spencer, making it potentially the UK’s most valuable tech firm.
Currently, Ocado is involved in partnerships that see nine grocers worldwide use its automated fulfilment technology.
Other projects in the pipeline
Tim Steiner confirmed that Ocado will be investing in other areas such as vertical farming and automated food preparation. He said: “We’re also investing in things that will tie very closely into what we do – things like vertical farming and automated food preparation, because we can see that this whole market is going to keep evolving and we intend to be at the forefront of that.”
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