Kroger is taking its fledgling autonomous vehicle delivery service into new territory: Houston. The grocery chain is launching autonomous vehicle grocery delivery from two of its Houston-area stores. The service, restricted to four Houston-area zip codes, is part of its expanding partnership with a robotics company called Nuro.
Kroger and Nuro already operate self-driving grocery services in Scottsdale, AZ, which servicing a single zip code. Right now the autonomous fleet is made up of Toyota Prius vehicles, but the companies plan to launch their own next-generation fleet later this year. Those Nuro-built custom vehicles like above are dubbed R1. The companies conducted successful tests of the vehicles last year in Arizona.
"We've seen first-hand in Arizona how enthusiastic customers are about getting their Kroger groceries delivered by a Nuro self-driving vehicle," said Nuro co-founder, Dave Ferguson.
"Texas has been a leader in encouraging self-driving innovation, and we're excited to help deliver that future for Houston — a dynamic, diverse, and welcoming metropolitan city that we're excited to soon explore and serve with this autonomous delivery service."
"Our Arizona pilot program confirmed the flexibility and benefits provided by autonomous vehicles and how much customers are open to more innovative solutions," said Yael Cosset, Kroger's chief digital officer. "It's always been our shared vision to scale this initiative to new markets, using world-changing technology to enable a new type of delivery service for our customers. We operate 102 stores in Houston—an energetic market that embraces digital and technology advancement. The launch is one more way we are committed to sustainably
providing our customers with anything, anytime, and anywhere, the way they want it."
Autonomous Delivery Service Details:
- Where: Two Houston Kroger stores
- Store One: 10306 South Post Oak Road, Houston, TX, servicing 77401 and 77096
- Store Two: 5150 Buffalo Speedway, Houston, TX, servicing 77005 and 77025
- Customers across Greater Houston will continue to have access to the grocery delivery service currently offered by Kroger.
- When: Customers can place orders for delivery 7 days a week. The service will begin in both stores this spring.
- How: Customers shop via Kroger.com or the Kroger app and place orders based on slot availability.
- What: Grocery orders can be scheduled for same-day or next-day delivery by Nuro's fleet of self-driving vehicles, beginning this spring with Nuro's self-driving Toyota Prius vehicles.
- Price: $5.95 flat fee; no minimum order.
Watch the Nuro in action here: