An autonomous mobile grocery store called “Robomart” could make its U.S. debut as early as this summer if Robomart founder Ali Ahmed has his way.
Ahmed and Robomart are building a fleet of fully autonomous, on-demand, self-driving stores to license to retailers in what is billed as the world's most affordable and convenient home grocery service. Consumers just tap a button and the driverless store comes to them, so they can shop for the freshest produce and other groceries right at their doorstep, at the lowest prices since there's no delivery fee, according to Ahmed.
He's hoping to tap into two major trends affecting the food retailing world. For starters, although fresh produce accounts for a larger percentage of food retailers’ overall sales, only about 5% of sales have moved online, according to Ahmed. Meanwhile, research conducted by Robomart shows that 85% of women between the ages of 26 and 44 won’t buy fruits and vegetables online because they believe home delivery is too expensive and they want to pick their own produce. Almost 65% said they would order a Robomart more than once a week.
The company has built its first prototype and will be unveiling the vehicle at CES on Jan. 8. The Santa Clara, CA.-based company has begun work on fully functional Robomarts, which it hopes to deploy in a pilot by late summer 2018.
“We're in the process of getting our Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit and License from the Department of Motor Vehicles in California so that we can deploy fully driverless vehicles on public roads in California,” Ahmed said.
For more on the Robomart experience click here to read the full article from RIS sister publication Retail Leader.
Editor’s Note: For an in-depth analysis of what tomorrow's automotive technology, and how we use it, means for retail be sure to check out the “Navigating the Road Ahead” session at the NRF Big Show 2018. The session will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2:15-3:00 in Hall A, 1A 22, Level 1 of the Jacob Javits Center and will feature Reese Jones, associate founder, Singularity University and Daniel Obodovski, CEO and founder, The Silent Intelligence.