Self-Driving Service: Big Companies Using Autonomous Delivery Cars
You’re likely familiar with companies like Waymo and Cruise developing self-driving cars. However, you may not realize that companies you are already familiar with are also developing self-driving solutions for various aspects of business. Before you know it, your pizza or groceries may arrive in an autonomous vehicle. Here are five companies you might not know are developing self-driving services.
According to MUO, Dominos teamed up with self-driving car startup Nuro to bring autonomous pizza delivery to the masses. Well, just residents of Houston, Texas, on certain days with prepaid orders. It’s a start!
Nuro developed its R2 delivery vehicle with financial backing from heavy-hitting investors like Google. It’s a small self-driving vehicle that a person couldn’t fit in if they tried. Even if they got in, they’d find that there are no pedals or a steering wheel. The R2’s only purpose is to be a delivery vehicle. However, as you’ll soon find out, the R2 is not solely for delivering Pizza. Furthermore, Dominos isn’t the only company to team up with Nuro for autonomous delivery.
Like Dominos, Walmart teamed up with Nuro for self-driving vehicle services in Houston, Texas. However, Walmart also enlisted the likes of Waymo and other autonomous car companies like Gatik and Udelv to deliver in Scottsdale, Arizona.
After receiving approval from the Arkansas State Highway Commission for self-driving deliveries, Walmart is undoubtedly the pack leader in this advancement. As of now, several different locations around the country have self-driving Walmart delivery vehicles bringing people their groceries daily.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon decided to blaze its own trail in the autonomous delivery path. The company certainly did it with authority and heavy investing, too.
In 2020, Amazon purchased a self-driving vehicle startup called Zoox for a cool $1.2 billion. Zoox already had functioning self-driving cars in Las Vegas and San Francisco. Additionally, they had plans in the works to expand to Seattle in 2022.
Amazon also decided to create its own proprietary delivery vehicles in-house. The Amazon Scout is a six-wheel autonomous vehicle that has already seen some service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. The company plans on expanding its real-world use throughout the U.S. soon.
Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop is another company doing things a bit differently. Instead of using peoples’ groceries with an autonomous vehicle, they bring the grocery store on the road.
The company partnered with a startup from San Francisco called Robomart. The self-driving vehicles carry around fresh produce and meal kits. Customers use an app to call the car to their location. Once there, customers take what they’d like to buy. Then, using robot vision and RFID technology, the car automatically detects what has been taken and bills the customer’s account accordingly.
Kroger also teamed up with Nuro to start their self-driving delivery service in the Houston area. There’s plenty of ground to cover with over 100 stores in the area.
However, Kroger, too, is taking a bit of a different approach. While the company uses the Nuro R2 robot, it opted to use a flat-rate delivery service with no minimum order. So, for the low delivery fee of just $5.95, you could order yourself anything from a complete grocery order to a single banana. You know, if you want to spend seven dollars on a banana.
Self-driving delivery services are fantastic, and more are on the way!
While many Americans still fear the idea of fully self-driving cars on the road, most of them are much more comfortable with the idea of driverless delivery vehicles. Why shouldn’t they be? Who doesn’t love the thought of a pizza robot bringing you a large pie while you relax?
Overall, self-driving delivery cars are beneficial in many ways. Less gas being used by the general public, more convenient access to groceries and food, and less pollution from electric vehicles like the Nuro R2 all point to an easier and cleaner future of delivery!