General Motors and DoorDash have teamed up to test an autonomous food delivery service this month in San Francisco.
With GM’s Cruise driverless vehicles, customers will be able to order food and have it delivered to their door without seeing another person. It is just a test, and the implication is to improve the efficiency of getting food and in the future—groceries—from DoorDash merchants to its customers' doors, or at least to their curbs.
"Delivery is a significant opportunity for Cruise as we prepare to commercialize our autonomous vehicle technology and transform transportation," said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, who formally assumed the role this week from Cruise founder Kyle Vogt. Vogt is now president and chief technology officer of Cruise.
There are many questions to ask. Will this test, if successful, put Instacart on the back burner? Will Cruise become a mainstay for grocers who can then regain control over the relationship with their customers? Will the technology shrink that two-hour window that most shoppers struggle with and allow for a 30-minute-or-less delivery window? And most importantly, will shoppers embrace driverless deliveries of groceries?