Autos

CVS Pharmacy partners with Nuro to test self-driving vehicle prescription delivery

Key Points
  • CVS Pharmacy plans to test delivering prescriptions using self-driving vehicles from Nuro next month as part of a pilot program in Houston.
  • Deliveries will be free to customers for orders through CVS.com or the CVS Pharmacy app, and are expected to be fulfilled in three hours or less.
  • Customers will have to verify their identification to unlock the vehicle.
Nuro has partnered with CVS to begin a pilot program to deliver prescriptions with self-driving vehicles. The company plans to first use an autonomous Prius fleet to make deliveries, then introduce R2 (pictured), a custom-built delivery bot, in the coming months.
Nuro

CVS Pharmacy plans to test delivering prescriptions using self-driving vehicles next month as part of a pilot program in Houston.

The health-care company partnered with Nuro, a Silicon Valley tech company that's been developing autonomous driving technology, for the initiative.

Deliveries will be free to customers for orders through CVS.com or the CVS Pharmacy app, and are expected to be fulfilled in three hours or less, according to Nuro. Customers will have to verify their identity to unlock the vehicle.

"Today, more than ever, we believe autonomous delivery can improve people's everyday lives," according to a Medium post Thursday from Nuro announcing the tie-up. "Maintaining our health and safety has never felt so critical."

Nuro said it plans to first use Toyota Prius vehicles equipped with self-driving technology for the deliveries that are equipped with with a person monitoring the vehicle in the driver's seats, followed by an unmanned delivery vehicle called R2 in the coming months.

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CVS spokeswoman Stephanie Cunha said the company is utilizing the pilot to "see how consumers will respond to this service."

"We are committed to testing innovative delivery solutions to give our customers more choice in how they can quickly access the medications they need when it's not convenient for them to visit one of our locations," she said in an email to CNBC.

Nuro last year partnered with Kroger and Domino's to deliver groceries and food. Both pilots also are taking place in the Houston area.

Nuro has raised more than $1 billion from investors including Greylock and SoftBank. Its founders, Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, were principal engineers at Google's self-driving car project, Waymo.