Driverless delivery of groceries by Kroger

It’s official:

Kroger and Nuro, a robotics company, announced they have partnered to pilot driverless delivery vehicles in Scottsdale, Ariz. There is no minimum order, but there is a $5.95 delivery fee. Deliveries will be made at the shopper’s curb.

The current system of moving food from farms to distribution centers to retail grocery stores to homes is full of friction. Automating the transportation of food will eliminate much of this friction. Kroger is betting the driverless delivery of food from distribution centers to homes is the first step to be automated.

The elephant in the room is Amazon, which already dominates retail delivery and bought Whole Foods last year. The question is when, not if, Amazon will announce their own driverless delivery service of food. As of yesterday, it appears Amazon has, indeed, begun its quest for driverless technology:

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