Kroger, the largest grocery chain in the United States, began to provide services for the delivery of goods using self-driving cars Nuro R1.
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So far fully automated the service is being tested in Arizona. On the website of one of the stores in Phoenix, owned by Kroger Co., customers can order goods delivered to their homes, and if the destination is within a 1.3 km radius of the warehouse, it will be delivered by a self-driving vehicle. To ensure safety, the speed of the Nuro R1 cannot exceed 40 km / h and its compact size ensures good maneuverability. The buyers are informed about the departure and arrival of the vehicle by SMS.
Since the system is at the testing stage, at first the unmanned Nuro will be followed by a car with company employees who monitor its movement and, if necessary, can take control or stop the R1. According to the managers, such measures are largely due to the lack of the threat of an accident, and the lack of existing unmanned control systems. For example, during a demo run, the vehicle stopped due to a low battery and had to be manually pushed back..
Kroger says it plans to use self-driving cars to reduce the cost of shipping everyday goods and improve existing automated systems. However, they note that in the process of implementation, they faced many problems, the main ones of which were state laws and weather. It was because of these factors that it was decided to test innovation in Arizona..
We previously reported that a similar delivery system tested in Silicon Valley.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Andrew Brown / The Kroger Co.