The Kroger Co. and robotics company Nuro, have officially rolled out their autonomous grocery delivery service in Houston, beginning with the South Post Oak store and to be followed by the Buffalo Speedway store later this spring. Houston is the second market for Kroger and Nuro’s delivery service, after a successful pilot in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the first public use of Nuro’s self-driving fleet in the city.
As in Scottsdale, Kroger and Nuro are starting the service with the latter’s manual and self-driving Toyota Prius fleet, and will introduce Nuro’s next-generation custom driverless vehicle later in the year.
“Nuro’s initial application of transporting goods through self-driving technology has allowed us to build a real service and have immediate impact on communities,” noted Dave Ferguson, co-founder of Mountain View, Calif.-based Nuro. “We are excited to introduce Houston to our time-saving service that provides customers with their groceries quickly and safely.”
Describing Houston as “a leading city that embraces innovation and technology,” Marlene Stewart, Kroger’s Houston division president, said: “Kroger continues to redefine the customer experience, and we’re thrilled to provide our customers with a new way to have their groceries delivered. We thank Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston community for being terrific partners and for supporting consumer-focused robotics.”
To access the new service, customers can shop on Kroger’s website of mobile app and place orders for delivery seven days a week based on slot availability. Groceries can be scheduled for same-day or next-day delivery for a $5.95 flat fee, with no minimum order.
Additionally, customers across greater Houston will continue to have access to Kroger’s current grocery delivery service.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,779 retail food stores under various banner names. The company is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2018 list of the top grocers in the United States.