Supermarket giant Kroger partnered with the autonomous vehicle startup, Nuro, to test driverless grocery delivery in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Nuro’s fleet of self-driving Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf cars will deliver the groceries from now until this fall when the company will switch to its own custom-built R1 driverless delivery vehicles.
For the pilot service, Kroger is using one its subsidiaries, Fry’s Food Store. Customers can place orders via Fry’s website or mobile app for same-day or next-day delivery. The Verge reports “the delivery fee is $5.95 per order and there is no minimum order amount.”
The initiative is one of many steps retailers have taken in recent months to challenge Amazon’s growing dominance in the retail landscape, particularly with its acquisition of Whole Foods.
Kroger ranked 18th on The Harris Poll’s 2018 Reputation Quotient study, a significant rise from its #35 ranking in 2016. While Amazon has consistently topped the RQ list for the past three years, it remains to be seen if its competitors’ recent technological innovations will loosen its tightening grip on the retail market.