Technology 2 min read

Grocery Robots on the Rise With Kroger and Nuro

Joining part of the near $7-billion USD consumer robot industry, Kroger partnered with autonomous delivery company Nuro for its last mile deliveries. Will it be now able to compete with Amazon and its Whole Foods delivery offerings thanks to this move?

Last mile delivery systems may be getting a futuristic boost thanks to a partnership between Kroger and the robotics company Nuro. | Image by Jonathan Weiss | Shutterstock

Last mile delivery systems may be getting a futuristic boost thanks to a partnership between Kroger and the robotics company Nuro. | Image by Jonathan Weiss | Shutterstock

The grocery company known as Kroger will soon use the Nuro driverless delivery method for its last mile delivery.

Amazon proudly announced that it now offers Whole Foods delivery in select cities recently. But the e-commerce colossus isn’t the only one looking towards the future of delivery services.

One of the largest issues for both large and small scale delivery services is the last mile between the customer and their package. Now, Kroger may have found a futuristic and affordable solution to this issue.

Competing with E-Commerce Organic Delivery

Kroger owns many stores, but its main focus is grocery stores.

In fact, it has around 2,800 grocery stores across 35 U.S. states. They go by various names such as:

  • Kroger
  • King Soopers
  • Dillons
  • Ralphs
  • Fry’s
  • Smith’s
  • City Market

There are more names, but you get the idea of how extensive their business is.

A local chain here in Texas called HEB offers curbside pickup and mobile ordering.

Bu,t in order to better compete with more stores offering delivery, Kroger is adopting a more futuristic solution than mobile tech or even human-based delivery systems.

Kroger and Nuro partnership includes last mile delivery | PRNewsfoto The Kroger Co. via ZDNet

The Last Mile by Adorable Tiny Robot Cars

Nuro bills itself as “the future of local commerce” with its autonomous delivery robots.

The company offers an impressive roster including employees with experience at Waymo, Google, Tesla, and even General Motors.

Nuro says its delivery drivers are fully autonomous and fully electric, making them a more affordable solution for local delivery.

While there is no pilot program as of yet, you can expect it to start this fall. Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson told ZDNet this about the partnership:

“Unmanned delivery will be a game-changer for local commerce, and together with Kroger, we’re thrilled to test this new delivery experience to bring grocery customers new levels of convenience and value.

Our safe, reliable, and affordable service, combined with Kroger’s ubiquitous brand, is a powerful first step in our mission to accelerate the benefits of robotics for everyday life.”

Given that the market expects a near $7-billion USD revenue spike in robots this year, Kroger may just be one client out of many for companies like Nuro moving forward.

Would you prefer all of your deliveries by autonomous electric car?

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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