From pre-made salads and sandwiches to ready-to-make meal kits and online ordering, the grocery store has become a conveyor belt of innovation the last few years.
It’s time to throw another piece into the basket — driverless delivery.
Kroger, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based grocery chain that operates Fry’s Food Stores, announced Thursday, Aug. 16, that it will begin testing its driverless delivery program in Scottsdale, Arizona.
In June, the company said it was exploring the program and had partnered with Nuro, a company founded in 2016 that makes unmanned vehicles, but had not named where they would be tested.
Now we know where.
Starting Thursday, the program will only be available to those living in the 85257 zip code and within two miles of the Fry’s grocery store at 7770 E. McDowell Road in Scottsdale (near Scottsdale and North Hayden Roads).
Here are a few things you need to know:
WHAT IS IT?
Forget going to the grocery store and walking the aisles to grab the milk, eggs and cheese. Under the test program, customers will be able to order their groceries via the Fry’s Food Store app and website and have them delivered to their home by one of Nuro’s ten unmanned Toyota Prius vehicles.
Each vehicle will deliver the groceries to a home’s curbside and can deliver up to 15 bags of groceries, said Pam Giannonatti, corporate affairs manager with Kroger.
HOW SAFE IS IT?
“Safety is Nuro’s top priority. They are relentlessly focused on ensuring their vehicles are not just good neighbors, but among the safest on the road,” Kroger said in a statement. “Their vehicles and the autonomy systems undergo extensive testing including a wide range of critical safety scenarios that require immediate response to prevent harm.”
During the test, Kroger said each vehicle would have a safety test driver with it.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Starting Thursday, Aug. 16, those living within the 85257 zip code can order groceries from the Fry’s Food app or website, https://www.frysfood.com.
They can be delivered by one of Nuro’s vehicles that same day or the next day depending on availability.
The delivery fee is $5.95 per order. There is no minimum order amount.