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Walmart is expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to Arizona for a delivery program with Cruise 

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Walmart is expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to Scottsdale, Arizona for a pilot delivery program with autonomous startup Cruise

  • Walmart is testing self-driving cars in a delivery program starting next year
  • It is teaming up with Cruise to use its autonomous Chevy Bolts
  • The pilot program will take place with stores located in Scottsdale, Arizona 
  • At least one safety driver will be sat at the wheel during every trip 

Walmart is teaming up with autonomous vehicle startup Cruise for a pilot delivery program that uses self-driving cars to bring orders from stores to homes around Scottsdale, Arizona.

Customers place an order from their local Walmart and it will be delivered, contact-free by one of Cruise’s all-electric self-driving Chevy Bolts.

The program is set to start in early 2021 and will use a number of vehicles that have have at least one safety driver behind the wheel during every trip.

Walmart has recently made its way into delivery programs with self-driving vehicles in several US locations and has teamed up with a number of firms including Ford and Waymo.

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Walmart is expanding its fleet of self-driving cars to Arizona for a delivery program with Cruise 

Walmart is teaming up with autonomous vehicle startup Cruise for a pilot delivery program that uses self-driving cars to bring orders from stores to homes around Scottsdale, Arizona

Little details has been provided about the pilot program, but Walmart shared that the GM-owned Cruise will help with finding new ways to ‘use technology to serve customers in the future.’

Tom Ward, SVP of customer product at Walmart, shared in a blog post: ‘What’s unique about Cruise is they’re the only self-driving car company to operate an entire fleet of all-electric vehicles powered with 100% renewable energy, which supports our road to zero emissions by 2040.’

Cruise has been testing its self-driving vehicles for several years in San Francisco, as well as Phoenix in a ride share program.

In addition to robotaxis, it has provided automated grocery delivery services to residents in San Francisco.

Customers place an order from their local Walmart and it will be delivered, contact-free by one of Cruise’s all-electric self-driving Chevy Bolts. The program is set to start in early 2021

Cruise is not the only self-driving firm to join forces with Walmart, as the retail giant has partnerships with Nuro, Udelv, Ford and Wyamo.

‘You’ve seen us test drive with self-driving cars in the past, and we’re continuing to learn a lot about how they can shape the future of retail,’ Ward shared.

‘We’re excited to add Cruise to our lineup of autonomous vehicle pilots as we continue to chart a whole new roadmap for retail.’

Although Walmart is moving in the direction of automation, it has scaled back with similar technologies at some 500 of its locations.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the firm ended its three-year contract with startup Bossa Nova Robotics, which builds roving robots equipped with cameras for identifying out-of-stock and misplaced products.

People familiar with the matter said the coronavirus sparked an influx of online orders, which resulted in Walmart hiring more employees to collect online orders and collect inventory data.

Although Walmart is moving in the direction of automation, it has scaled back with similar technologies at some 500 of its locations. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the firm ended its three-year contract with startup Bossa Nova Robotics and is pulling the robots from certain locations

Although Walmart is moving in the direction of automation, it has scaled back with similar technologies at some 500 of its locations. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the firm ended its three-year contract with startup Bossa Nova Robotics and is pulling the robots from certain locations

Not only is the transition due to the results of human workers, but also how shoppers have reacted to seeing robots roll through stores.

Bossa Nova CEO told DailyMail.com: ‘I cannot comment on Walmart, however the pandemic has forced us to streamline our operations and focus on our core technologies.’

‘We have made stunning advances in AI and robotics. Our retail AI is the industry’s best and works as well on robots as with fixed cameras, and our hardware, autonomy and operations excelled in more than 500 of the world’s most challenging stores.’

‘With the board’s full support, we continue deploying this technology with our partners in retail and in other fields.’

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