The Kroger Co. and robotics company Nuro are expanding their self-driving grocery delivery pilot to Houston, TX. The autonomous grocery delivery service will be available through two Houston Kroger stores, reaching customers residing in four local zip codes.
Since August 2018, Kroger and Nuro have operated a self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, AZ, servicing a single zip code with an autonomous vehicle fleet. In late 2018, the partnership expanded to include Nuro's custom vehicle, R1, marking the nation's first fully unmanned delivery service available to the general public. Like Scottsdale, Kroger and Nuro will begin the service with Nuro's self-driving Toyota Prius fleet and will introduce the next generation of the custom driverless vehicle later this year.
Together through the pilot, Kroger and Nuro have successfully and safely completed thousands of deliveries to customers in Scottsdale. With the upcoming launch, Kroger and Nuro will transfer the autonomous grocery delivery program to Houston for the next phase of the pilot.
"We've seen first-hand in Arizona how enthusiastic customers are about getting their Kroger groceries delivered by a Nuro self-driving vehicle," said Nuro co-founder, Dave Ferguson. "Texas has been a leader in encouraging self-driving innovation, and we're excited to help deliver that future for Houston — a dynamic, diverse, and welcoming metropolitan city that we're excited to soon explore and serve with this autonomous delivery service."
"Our Arizona pilot program confirmed the flexibility and benefits provided by autonomous vehicles and how much customers are open to more innovative solutions," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer. "It's always been our shared vision to scale this initiative to new markets, using world-changing technology to enable a new type of delivery service for our customers. We operate 102 stores in Houston—an energetic market that embraces digital and technology advancement. The launch is one more way we are committed to sustainably providing our customers with anything, anytime, and anywhere, the way they want it."