Ocado could soon be delivering groceries via driverless vehicles and robots which carry your order to your door.
Tim Steiner, the online grocery retailer’s chief executive, told NRF this week that Ocado is working on developing “things like driverless technology” and “what jumps out of that vehicle with the groceries and gives them to the customer”.
He added that the company’s future now depended on its “far our research and development technology and how we can leverage those for our clients”.
This is the latest sign that Ocado is moving away from its own retail operations and towards becoming a technology developer and provider for the retail industry.
In December Charged reported that Ocado is set to become the UK’s most valuable tech firm after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) decided to de-designate it as a retailer in August, following its joint venture with Marks & Spencer.
Ocado currently has partnerships with nine grocers across the globe which sees it licence its automated technology for a fee.
Retail analysts Peel Hunt estimate this part of the business could soon be worth £3.5 billion a year, while Steiner added “that part of the business will continue to grow”.
“We’re also investing in things that will tie very closely into what we do – things like vertical farming and automated food preparation, because we can see that this whole market is going to keep evolving and we intend to be at the forefront of that,” he added.