Piloted electric robots will soon be delivering convenience store items to residents in Dallas, TX.
Dallas/Ft. Worth-area convenience retailer Urban Value Corner Store has partnered with e-commerce provider Vroom Delivery and last-mile delivery robot operator Tortoise to bring on-demand delivery of thousands of products to consumers' doors in the coming months.
Each delivery robot is about the size of a large cooler and is remotely piloted, ensuring a human is always at the wheel. The robots operate on the sidewalks and drive at an average speed of around 3mph, allowing them to safely navigate around people, cars, pets, and other obstacles. The cart can carry over 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator when it arrives at its destination.
Products will include grocery staples such as milk and eggs, as well as beverages, ice cream, snacks and more, all delivered in under an hour. Alcohol and tobacco items will also be available for delivery from human drivers.
The Vroom + Tortoise partnership allows for a contactless, zero-emission, and affordable home delivery option, mitigating sustainability and congestion challenges. The Tortoise Cart is 100% electric, removing the need for a gas delivery vehicle and minimizing the traffic impact of e-commerce.
Urban Value, which operates stores in and around the Dallas area, will initially be piloting the program from its downtown location. Upon the success of the initial pilot, they intend to continue to roll the program out across the Metroplex.
"We are very excited to pilot this first-in-market contactless shopping opportunity” said Steve McKinley, CEO of Urban Value. “I expect that this technology combined with our diverse product offering will provide downtown Dallas residents and office staff a much more convenient shopping experience."
Customers can already order delivery from Urban Value for home delivery through the Vroom platform, with robots taking up the last mile responsibilities within the coming months. Vroom Delivery and Tortoise are also making this offering available to other convenience store chains across the country.
"In addition to the obvious contactless and environmental benefits, what we like about this concept is that this is also a very affordable solution for both the store and the consumer, significantly lowering the average cost of delivery,” said John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery.