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01/12/2022

Kroger Expands Autonomous-Vehicle Collaboration

3rd-gen Nuro models to roll out in Houston
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Kroger Nuro
Kroger plans to deploy Nuro's third-generation autonomous vehicles in Houston, building on the grocer’s commitment to anything, anytime, anywhere.

The Kroger Co. and Nuro are growing their collaboration with the introduction of Nuro’s third-generation autonomous delivery vehicle. In 2018, the two companies embarked on a partnership to deliver groceries via all-electric autonomous vehicles.

“Our expanded collaboration with Nuro supports Kroger’s commitment to provide fresh food, at a great value – all without asking our customers to compromise,” noted Yael Cosset, the grocer’s SVP and CIO. “The role of autonomous vehicles in our seamless ecosystem continues to increase, contributing to meeting our customers in the context of their day without compromising on the quality or value, while contributing to our long-term growth and sustainability goals.”

Kroger will deploy the third-generation vehicles in Houston, building on the grocer’s commitment to anything, anytime, anywhere. Nuro and Kroger first rolled out autonomous vehicles in the city back in 2019. 

“We are excited to expand our collaboration with Nuro here in Houston, one of the largest cities in the U.S.,” said Laura Gump, president, Houston Kroger division. “Our associates, customers and city embrace innovation, and we are thrilled to be able to soon provide this enterprising grocery delivery service to even more shoppers across the region.”

When asked by Progressive Grocer about when the new vehicles would arrive on the citys streets, a Kroger spokeswoman responded: We are working closely with Nuro on a more detailed timeline to begin using the third-generation (R3) vehicles in the Houston region,” adding, It’s worth noting we have successfully completed tens of thousands of deliveries in Houston leveraging the company’s self-driving Toyota Prius fleet with safety drivers. Today, Nuro is delivering orders from the Kroger store located at 10306 South Post Oak Road in Houston.

Kroger’s collaboration with Nuro supports the grocer’s  Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social and environmental impact plan, a commitment to create communities free of hunger and waste. The adoption of all-electric vehicles aligns with the grocer’s commitment to lower its corporate greenhouse gas emissions, and also enables customers to choose delivery methods that help them minimize their climate impacts.

“We are thrilled to expand our longstanding strategic partnership with Kroger and further our shared vision for the future of goods delivery,” said Dave Ferguson, co-founder and president of Mountain View, Calif.-based Nuro. “We look forward to leveraging our third-generation, and most advanced, autonomous vehicle to date to continue to build on the success of this program.” 

Kroger was one of investors in Nuro’s Series D round of financing led by Tiger Global Management last November, which raised $600 million to support the development and deployment of Nuro’s autonomous-delivery service in communities across the United States. 

Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 11 million-plus customers daily through a digital shopping experience and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, PG’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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