Kroger launches autonomous delivery bot in second location

American grocery giant Kroger is set to expand its partnership with Nuro and launch its autonomous grocery delivery robot in a second location in Houston Texas.

Last year Nuro, a start-up developing self-driving technology founded by two former Google engineers, secured a partnership with Kroger which saw it launch a trial of its autonomous delivery robot in Scottsdale, Arizona and has since completed thousands of deliveries.

Following a $940 million funding round from the SoftBank Vision Fund, the pair have now expanded the roll out of the technology, launching in two stores and four ZIP codes in Houston.

It will first deploy a self-driving Toyota Prius in the location to deliver goods with a safety driver behind the wheel, before sending out its R1 robot to, which can hold around six bags of shopping in its two compartments.

Orders can be placed via the Kroger app and delivery can be scheduled for the same, or next day for $5.95, with no minimum order amount.

“We’ve seen first-hand in Arizona how enthusiastic customers are about getting their Kroger groceries delivered by a Nuro self-driving vehicle,” Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson said.

“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.”

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