In June, Kroger announced it was teaming up with Nuro, the maker of driverless delivery vehicles, for a pilot program to deliver goods to customers via Nuro’s self-driving vans.
Now, Kroger, one of the largest supermarket retailers in the U.S., has begun its first service in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Deliveries began this week with customers being able to order groceries online for same-day or next-day delivery for a flat fee of $5.95 with no minimum order.
Kroger said the program will bring a higher level of convenience to grocery delivery to consumers while at the same time offering it at a cheap price. The goal is also to test and learn to understand customer acceptance of autonomous vehicles.
This is an interesting aspect to these pilot programs because it appears that the public’s view of self-driving vehicles is declining, according to a new report from Cox Automotive. That report noted that consumers view autonomous vehicles as less safe than two years ago, perhaps due to the reports of various accidents caused by these vehicles and a well-publicized death caused by an Uber car.
Nuro will begin the pilot program using its self-driving Toyota Prius fleet and will introduce its custom R1 driverless vehicle this fall. The R1 is a driverless vehicle that is fully electric and will contain cargo containers built into the body of the van.