Kroger launches autonomous grocery delivery service in Arizona

Enlarge / Nuro’s fully autonomous R1, slated to begin service in the fall. (credit: Kroger)

Starting today, residents of Scottsdale, Arizona have the opportunity to receive autonomous grocery deliveries from Fry’s Food Stores—a brand owned by grocery giant Kroger. The technology is supplied by Nuro, a self-driving vehicle startup founded by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car project. We profiled the company in May.

Kroger says that deliveries will have a flat $5.95 delivery fee, and customers can schedule same-day or next-day deliveries. Initially, the deliveries will be made by Nuro’s fleet of modified Toyota Priuses with a safety driver behind the wheel. But Kroger expects to start using Nuro’s production model—which doesn’t even have space for a driver—this fall.

That vehicle, known as the R1, is significantly smaller and lighter than a conventional passenger car. When we talked to Nuro cofounder Dave Ferguson back in May, he argued that the R1’s design had significant safety benefits. A smaller, lighter vehicle would do less damage if it ever ran into something. The vehicle’s maximum speed of 25 miles per hour also makes serious injuries less likely.

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Source: Ars Technica

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