Ocado partners with autonomous grocery delivery startup Wayve

Ocado has announced a partnership with autonomous grocery delivery startup Wayve, following in the footsteps of Asda.

The online grocer is investing £10 million in Wayve’s self-driving technology that can handle busy urban traffic.

Wayve’s tech will be used in a 12-month long delivery trial using Ocado delivery vans on some of its busy London routes.

A human driver will be present to oversee the tests however, the two companies said.

“This is a recognition that we’re uniquely positioned to build a technology than can deliver for the last-mile delivery space as well adapt and scale globally,” Wayve chief executive Alex Kendall told Reuters.

READ MORE: Ocado issues £500m corporate bond offering following “strong demand”

Wayve has now received a total of $60 million.

Ocado head of advanced technology Alex Harvey added: “We’ve been impressed with Wayve’s approach to solving this most complex of challenges and are excited to accelerate our capabilities so that our retail partners globally can take advantage of them at the earliest opportunity.”

A number of Ocado’s delivery vans will also be fitted with a data collection device that will enable Wayve’s tech to understand how human drivers handle traffic through machine learning.

Wayve has also said it will launch a trial of autonomous delivery vans with supermarket rival Asda in 2022 after announcing the tie up last month.

The news comes after Ocado invested £10 million in Oxford-based autonomous vehicle start up Oxbotica with the aim to reduce the cost of last mile delivery.

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