US-based Ahold Delhaize supermarket chain, Stop and Shop, is set to unveil its driverless grocery vehicles in Boston, Massachusetts, this year.
The retailer has partnered with San Francisco-based startup Robomart for the new service.
Vehicles will carry a range of produce, meal kits and convenience items from the grocery chain directly to customers, enabling them to shop at home. All vehicles are autonomous, electric and remotely piloted from a Robomart facility.
According to the company, the new service will expand the retailer’s presence beyond its existing brick-and-mortar stores.
Stop & Shop president Mark McGowan said: “This is one way in which we’re leveraging new technology to make shopping easier for our customers by essentially bringing the store to them.
“We also recognise that many of our customers want the opportunity to make their own choices when it comes to fresh produce.
“We’re proud to be the first retailer to engage with Robomart to address our customers’ needs with their cutting-edge solution.”
Customers in Boston need to use the company’s app to request a Robomart vehicle to their home. After the vehicle reaches their home, customers can unlock the vehicle and shop for fruits, vegetables and other products.
The vehicle is equipped with RFID and computer-vision technology to automatically process the transaction.
Robomart founder and CEO Ali Ahmed said: “For decades, consumers had the convenience of their local greengrocer and milkman coming door to door, and we believe that by leveraging driverless technology we can recreate that level of convenience and accessibility.
“We’re extremely excited to bring our vision to life with Stop & Shop, one of the most pioneering and forward-thinking grocery chains in the world.”