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Autonomous grocery delivery

August 16, 2018.

Nuro autonomous vehicle.

Nuro autonomous vehicle. © Kroger.

Starting this week, residents of Scottsdale, Arizona, can get their groceries delivered by a self-driving vehicle. This on-the-ground experiment is the result of a partnership between autonomous vehicle builder Nuro, and Kroger, the U.S.’s largest retail chain, owner of the Fry’s banner in Arizona. 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 more interestingly, this fall, Kroger expects to start using Nuro's R1 model, which doesn't even have a driver’s seat. That’ll be one to watch!

Arizona has some of the nation's most permissive laws regarding driverless vehicles, which was likely a factor in Kroger's decision to launch its first delivery service there, and Google Waymo to test its driverless taxis around Phoenix.

Ars Technica, “Kroger launches autonomous grocery delivery service in Arizona.”