New Autonomous Vehicle to Help Kroger Expand Grocery Delivery

Kroger and Nuro announced further cooperation to expand home grocery delivery service with Nuro’s new third-generation autonomous vehicle.

In 2018, Kroger, the largest U.S. grocery retail chain, and Nuro, a leading autonomous vehicle company, announced their partnership to use all-electric autonomous vehicles for home delivery service of fresh groceries.

“Our expanded collaboration with Nuro supports Kroger’s commitment to providing fresh food, at a great value, all without asking our customers to make compromises,” said Yael Cosset, senior vice president and chief information officer at Kroger. “The role of autonomous vehicles in our seamless ecosystem continues to grow, helping to satisfy our customers in the context of their day without compromising quality or value while contributing to our long-term growth and sustainability goals.”

According to a press release, Nuro’s new third-generation autonomous vehicle will allow Kroger to increase its digital offerings in Houston, one of the largest cities in the United States. Grocery delivery via autonomous vehicles is a cutting-edge e-commerce solution that offers customer-centric convenience regardless of order size.

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“We are thrilled to expand our long-standing strategic partnership with Kroger and further our shared vision for the future of grocery delivery,” said Dave Ferguson, co-founder and president of Nuro. “We look forward to leveraging our third-generation, and most advanced autonomous vehicle to date, to further build on the success of this program.”

The all-electric autonomous vehicles support Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social and environmental impact plan to build communities free of hunger and waste. The adoption of all-electric vehicles aligns with Kroger’s commitment to reduce its corporate greenhouse gas emissions and allows customers to choose delivery options that help reduce their climate impact. 

Nuro’s third-generation autonomous vehicle features

  • The new vehicle is approximately 20% smaller in width than standard passenger cars.
  • An external pedestrian airbag in the front of the vehicle is optimized to reduce the force of impact and the number of injuries in the event of a collision.
  • The new-generation vehicle is designed to operate safely in the same environment as all motor vehicles.
  • Its 27-cubic-foot combined compartments can hold about 24 grocery bags and support nearly 500 pounds. Modular inserts that fit inside the enclosures allow for heating and cooling, with a temperature range from 22ºF to 116ºF.
  • The new model will reach a maximum operating speed of 45 mph.
  • The new autonomous vehicle uses 100% renewable electricity from Texas wind farms to power the fleet and reduces its overall carbon footprint.
  • The new model contains a sophisticated network of sensors that work together to provide a full 360° view of the world in which it operates.