Kroger Launches Autonomous Grocery Delivery Service In Arizona (arstechnica.com)

Residents of Scottsdale, Arizona will be able to receive autonomous grocery deliveries from Kroger-owned Fry’s Food Stores. The technology required to make this all possible is supplied by Nuro, a self-driving vehicle startup founded by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car project. Ars Technica reports: Kroger says that deliveries will have a flat $5.95 delivery fee, and customers can schedule same-day or next-day deliveries. Initially, the deliveries will be made by Nuro’s fleet of modified Toyota Priuses with a safety driver behind the wheel. But Kroger expects to start using Nuro’s production model — which doesn’t even have space for a driver — this fall. That vehicle, known as the R1, is significantly smaller and lighter than a conventional passenger car. When we talked to Nuro cofounder Dave Ferguson back in May, he argued that the R1’s design had significant safety benefits. A smaller, lighter vehicle would do less damage if it ever ran into something. The vehicle’s maximum speed of 25 miles per hour also makes serious injuries less likely. And the fact that the car is dramatically narrower than a traditional car gives it significant safety benefits, Ferguson argued.

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