7-Eleven Inc. and robotics company Nuro are teaming up to pilot autonomous delivery in Mountain View, Calif., marking the first autonomous commercial delivery in the Golden State.
Customers in the service area can now order through the 7NOW delivery app to have their products delivered via bot, Progressive Grocer sister publication Convenience Store News reported.
"7‑Eleven has owned and defined convenience since 1927," said 7‑Eleven Chief Digital Officer Raghu Mahadevan. "Our first foray into autonomous delivery was in 2016 when 7‑Eleven became the first retailer in the U.S. to make a drone delivery to a customer's house. Since then, we haven't stopped looking for ways to redefine convenience for our customers inside and outside the four walls of our stores. Fast forward to 2021, and we are pushing the boundaries of innovation even further to provide customers with the first commercial autonomous delivery service in California. I can't wait to see where we go from here."
Here's how the service works:
- Customers simply download the 7NOW delivery app or visit 7NOW.com.
- They browse items such as pizza, chips, beverages, household goods and more, and add items to their shopping cart.
- Customers begin the checkout process and choose autonomous delivery.
- The 7NOW delivery app will send updates as the order is processed.
- Then, customers meet the autonomous vehicle outside, grab their items from the back and enjoy.
Autonomous vehicle deliveries are available daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time at no additional charge for Mountain View customers. Orders arrive in approximately 30 minutes.
Mountain View-based Nuro, which seeks to transform local commerce with autonomous vehicles, will begin the delivery service with its autonomous Priuses and later introduce R2 bots, the company's autonomous robots that are custom-built to transport products and goods without any occupants in the vehicle.
In December 2020, Nuro became the first autonomous vehicle company to receive a deployment permit from the California DMV, enabling the launch of this inaugural commercial delivery service in the state in collaboration with 7‑Eleven.
"Residents in the state of California — a major hub of innovation — have never been able to experience the commercial delivery of goods by an autonomous vehicle. Nuro is teaming up with 7‑Eleven to change that," said Jiajun Zhu, Nuro CEO and co-founder. "We've always wanted to bring Nuro's autonomous delivery to our local community and to our neighbors. We couldn't be more excited to do this with an iconic neighborhood store like 7‑Eleven in our hometown, Mountain View."
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 77,000 c-stores in 16 countries and regions, including nearly 16,000 in North America. The company is No. 25 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's list of the top 100 food and consumables retailers in North America.