Walmart is experimenting with another driverless delivery fleet.
The retailer said this week it would begin a pilot early next year in Scottsdale, Ariz., with Cruise, a self-driving car company with a fleet of all-electric vehicles.
Cruise, based in San Francisco, has partnerships with Honda and General Motors and has also developed its own vehicles it said would reduce carbon pollution and improve mobility in dense urban markets. The company said earlier this year that it has made more than 50,000 contactless food and meal deliveries in the San Francisco area during the COVID-19 crisis through a partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
In a blog post discussing the Walmart-Cruise partnership, Tom Ward, SVP of customer product for Walmart U.S., said the partnership would support Walmart’s sustainability goals while testing additional fulfillment options. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer has tested any number of solutions for efficient delivery, including self-driving cars in Arizona, Texas and Florida. It is also experimenting with Gatik driverless delivery vehicles to transport goods between stores around Bentonville.
“You’ve seen us test drive with self-driving cars in the past, and we’re continuing to learn a lot about how they can shape the future of retail,” Ward said. “We’re excited to add Cruise to our lineup of autonomous vehicle pilots as we continue to chart a whole new roadmap for retail.”