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Walmart joins Kroger to test driverless grocery deliveries in Houston

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Nuro D2. Photo courtesy Walmart

Retail giant Walmart announced Dec. 10 that it has launched a pilot program to deliver groceries with driverless vehicles in Houston, Texas.

The pilot program is in conjunction with California-based autonomous vehicle company Nuro, which has been providing the service to Kroger in Houston since March, according to its website.

Nuro’s R2 driverless vehicle is about half as wide as a compact sedan, shorter than most cars and has no room for passengers or drivers, reports The Verge website. Each vehicle is monitored via chase vehicles with human drivers and with remote technology as it makes its deliveries.

“Nuro’s vision of using robotics to improve lives runs parallel with Walmart’s mission of helping customers live better,” Walmart said in a statement. “Through the Houston-based pilot, Walmart aims to develop, refine and continue learning how to offer the best end-to-end customer experience.”

Walmart said it is committed to delivering groceries “with a side of time-saving convenience” through its ever-expanding grocery pickup and delivery service. The retailer offers the service in nearly 3,100 locations with deliveries coming from more than 1,600 stores.

“Along the way, we’ve been test-driving a number of different options for getting groceries from our stores to our customers’ front doors through self-driving technology,” Walmart said. “We believe this technology is a natural extension of our grocery pickup and delivery service and our goal of making every day a little easier for customers.”

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