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Kroger starts use of unmanned vehicles for delivery in Arizona

Key Points
  • U.S. supermarket chain Kroger said on Tuesday it has started using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries Scottsdale, Arizona in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro.
  • Peers Walmart and Amazon.com have also invested heavily in their delivery operations by expanding their offerings and shortening delivery times.
Source: Kroger

U.S. supermarket chain Kroger said on Tuesday it has started using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver groceries Scottsdale, Arizona in partnership with Silicon Valley startup Nuro.

The delivery service follows a pilot program started by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro's R1, a custom unmanned vehicle.

The R1 uses public roads and has no driver and is used to only transport goods.

Kroger's deal with Nuro underscores the stiff competition in the U.S. grocery delivery market with supermarket chains angling for a bigger share of consumer spending.

Peers Walmart and Amazon.com have also invested heavily in their delivery operations by expanding their offerings and shortening delivery times.

Walmart, Ford Motor and delivery service Postmates said last month they would collaborate to deliver groceries and other goods to Walmart customers and that could someday use autonomous vehicles.

Kroger said the service would be available in Scottsdale at its unit Fry's Food Stores for $5.95 with no minimum order requirement for same-day or next-day deliveries.

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Key Points
  • Monroe, Ohio, a suburb outside of Cincinnati, will be the home of Kroger's first Ocado customer fulfillment center.
  • Kroger is investing $55 million to build this first location, which is set to measure 335,000 square feet and generate more than 400 new jobs.
  • The grocer is expect to build around 20 of these robotically operated warehouses.