US supermarket chain Walmart and American robotics company Nuro have partnered to pilot autonomous grocery delivery in Houston, Texas.
The pilot will see Nuro’s self-driving technology and fleet being used for delivering orders from select Houston Walmart stores to local customers’ homes.
Walmart currently delivers products to 200 million customers from across more than 11,000 stores globally.
The delivery service pilot will be available only for a group of participants who have opted in to try it.
A Nuro spokesperson said: “Through the pilot, we’ll gain insights that will enable us to further develop and refine our service, while helping Walmart create the best end-to-end customer experiences.”
Walmart is already delivering groceries through its Grocery Pick-up and Delivery service.
The retailer’s online grocery footprint has grown to nearly 3,100 pick-up locations, with deliveries coming from more than 1,600 stores.
In October this year, Walmart expanded its InHome Delivery service available to more than one million customers across three US cities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Kansas City, Missouri and Vero Beach, Florida.
Walmart US digital operations SVP Tom Ward said: “Our unparalleled size and scale have allowed us to steer grocery delivery to the front doors of millions of families – and design a roadmap for the future of the industry.
“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.
“We believe this technology is a natural extension of our Grocery Pick-up and Delivery service and our goal of making every day a little easier for customers.”