Kroger will soon be delivering groceries in driverless cars

(Image credit: Nuro)

Formed by two big players behind Google's self-driving car endeavor, Nuro is preparing to launch a fleet of self-driving delivery vehicles.

And, it's partnering with Kroger to use that fleet to deliver groceries, The Verge reports.

To start, Nuro will be using simple self-driving cars, like its modded Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf cars. 

These are expected to begin making deliveries this fall, but will have human safety drivers on-board, since Nuro doesn't have as much testing under its belt after only 2 years as a company. Eventually it will switch to a custom fleet of vehicles that look like mini Volkswagen buses.

Just where the service will first operate is still undecided, but customers will be able to manage and track deliveries using a Nuro app or Kroger's delivery platform.

With thousands of Kroger stores spread over 35 states, the opportunity for Nuro is huge. If the pilot program goes well and Nuro's fleet of fully autonomous vehicles work as intended, consumers could start seeing self-driving delivery all over the place.

Some things stand in the way though. Nuro still needs to prove its technology. And, before the fully autonomous fleet can hit the roads, the company will need legal authorization which may not always be easy to get (or keep, as Uber's fatal accident in Arizona has shown.

Mark Knapp

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