Last mile solution
Asda customers can have their food shop delivered by a Wayve self-driving vehicle as the UK’s largest autonomous grocery home shopping delivery trial begins.
The supermarket has joined forces with Wayve and the supermarket’s existing online delivery operation will be joined by the Wayve self-driving vehicles, which have the ability to drive themselves to the homes of customers.
An Asda colleague and supervising Wayve safety driver will both be in the vehicle during the trial when making deliveries.
Asda colleagues will load and unload the groceries at the customers’ home but they will be transported from store to the door in a self-driving vehicle.
The launch follows a two-year partnership between the supermarket and autonomous vehicle technology start-up that aims to lead the way on developing a self-driving vehicle solution for the grocery market.
The development is seen as an “exciting opportunity to shape the future of delivery”. It has been long in the planning and one of the major sticking points – legislation – has been been overcome.
From the retailers point of view, the partnership with Wayve helps operations.
Demand for online groceries has grown significantly, and we should only expect retailer to continue to push new boundaries in terms of the technologies they use to help profits and become more sustainable in some respects – I assume the vehicles will use more efficient fuel usage, and they can be programmed to take the most fuel-efficient routes as well as operate at maximum efficiency all the time.
There is no hush-hush about tests anymore. Since the prevailing public sentiment is not entirely positive, ultimately, it will be reliability that will define successful deliveries from store to home.
- Rodney Jack, editor, Food & Drink Technology.
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