Grocery delivery seems like one of the obvious applications of self-driving vehicles, but I wouldn’t have guessed that Kroger would be out front on it.
“To start out, Nuro will use a fleet of self-driving test vehicles with human safety drivers to make deliveries for Kroger’s grocery stores. Customers can track and interact with the vehicles via a Nuro app or Kroger’s pre-existing online delivery platform. But if Nuro’s human test drivers don’t get out to help you, don’t be mad because in our driverless future, we all need to pitch in and unload our own groceries.”
I think the tipping point with autonomous vehicles will be when boring, non-tech businesses like groceries can put them to work without having develop their own fleet. So far, most self-driving car companies have either been in the mobility space to begin with, or had to dive into the mobility space as part of developing that business line.
If Kroger can utilize self-driving cars as a service, without having to build self-driving cars themselves, that would be a big step forward.