Walmart Inc. has made an investment in Cruise, a San Francisco-based company with an all-electric fleet of self-driving cars powered by 100% renewable energy. “The investment will aid our work toward developing a last-mile delivery ecosystem that’s fast, low-cost and scalable,” noted John Furner, president and CEO, Walmart U.S., in a blog post.
Added Furner: “Over the years we’ve been doing a lot to learn more about the role autonomous vehicles can play in retail, and we’ve seen enough to know it’s no longer a question of if they’ll be scaled, but when.”
Walmart and Cruise first teamed up last November on a successful delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona. The two companies share a commitment to a future with zero emissions.
“As delivery has become a staple in our customers’ lives, we’re focused on growing our last-mile ecosystem in a way that’s beneficial for everyone — customers, business and the planet,” explained Furner. “Cruise is a natural partner as we work to take collective action on climate change. We’re doing this not only in our own operations where we are targeting zero emissions by 2040 and have set a goal to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2035, but also throughout the supply chain and our environmental initiative, Project Gigaton, one of the largest private-sector consortiums for climate action.”
Walmart is also testing driverless routes with Palo Alto, California-based Gatik, a provider of autonomous trucks.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 56 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks No. 9.