Walmart has announced a fresh pilot program that will examine autonomous grocery delivery in the Houston market beginning next year.

The retailer is partnering with autonomous transportation company Nuro, a robotics firm that utilizes driverless technology to deliver goods to consumers. 

The Specifics of The Partnership

Nuro’s vehicles, in this situation, will deliver Walmart online supermarket orders to a picked group of customers who chose this service in Houston.

The autonomous delivery service will include R2, Nuro’s custom-built delivery vehicle that transports products only, with no onboard drivers or travelers, as well as independent Toyota Priuses that deliver groceries.

The program aims to study more about how autonomous grocery delivery can work and how such a service can be developed to assist Walmart’s shoppers better.

Nuro’s center to date has been producing a self-driving stack and joining it with a custom unmanned vehicle created for last-mile delivery of local goods and services. 

The vehicle has two sections that can adjust up to six grocery bags each.

The company has put more than $1 billion from associates, including SoftBank, Greylock Partners, and Gaorong Capital. 

The Story of Nuro 

In March, the company declared that it had allocated $940 million in funding from SoftBank Vision Fund.

Nuro is recognized for its pursuance of autonomous delivery. 

But it additionally licensed its self-driving vehicle technology to Ike, the independent trucking startup. 

Ike presently has a copy of Nuro’s stack, which is about billions, based on this latest round. 

Nuro delivery vehicle | iTMunch

Nuro, too, has a minority stake in Ike.

Nuro’s connection with Walmart is just it’s first. 

The firm partnered with Kroger (Fry’s) in 2018 to examine autonomous Prius vehicles and its custom-built robot, R1. 

The R1 autonomous vehicle was working as a driverless service without a security driver on board in the Phoenix area of Scottsdale. 

In March 2019, Nuro transferred the service with Kroger to Houston, starting with autonomous Priuses. 

In 2020, Nuro will experiment with its second-generation robot, R2, with Kroger, Domino’s and Walmart.

The Nuro partnership isn’t o Walmart’s original autonomous delivery pilot, either.

The retailer beginning of this year spiked the startup Udelv to examine autonomous grocery deliveries in Arizona. 

This summer, it hit off an experiment with Gatik AI, an autonomous vehicle startup to examine grocery delivery from Walmart’s central warehouse in Bentonville, Ark.

Walmart announces its pilot program with Nuro will hit off in 2020.

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