Walmart is cruising into a new self-driving car delivery pilot.
Starting early in 2021, shoppers in the Scottsdale, Arizona, area will be able to opt in for contact-free deliveries via self-driving Cruise cars. Cruise, now owned by General Motors, features an all-electric fleet and was founded in 2013.
Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Customer Product Tom Ward wrote in a blog post that the partnership may unroll a “whole new roadmap for retail.”
“You’ve seen us test drive with self-driving cars in the past, and we’re continuing to learn a lot about how they can shape the future of retail,” Ward wrote. Walmart has previously launched self-driving pilots with robotics company Nuro, Alphabet-owned Waymo, and auto giant Ford.
The Arkansas-based retailer has also experimented with other emerging technologies in its bid to win retail’s delivery wars against rivals like Amazon.
Earlier this year, Walmart announced partnerships with a trio of drone companies for various fulfillment pilots that kicked off in October. Both self-driving cars and unmanned aerial vehicles are sure to play important roles in Walmart’s ongoing strategy of delivering items to customers more quickly. Ward wrote that the company’s Express Delivery service, which offers two-hour delivery on a slew of products, has reached 2,800 stores and 65% of households in the US since its April launch.
“Technology that has the potential to not only save customers time and money but also be helpful to the planet is technology we want to learn more about,” Ward wrote.
Source: Business Insider