The future is one step closer as America’s biggest retailer incorporates driverless cars into it’s delivery service. Walmart is piloting a programme partnering with Udelv, using autonomous-driving vans to deliver fresh groceries in Arizona.
“We want to make sure we stay on the cutting edge of grocery delivery by exploring what’s new and next,” Tom Ward, senior vice president of Walmart’s digital operations in the U.S., said. It’s all part of a master plan to provide an online grocery delivery option to another 800 stores.
Online spending by U.S. consumers for groceries is expected to climb 15 percent this year would push the share of grocery sales that take place on the internet to 6.3 percent of overall sales.
Driverless cars might help Walmart to see an even greater growth, if they can make pick up and delivery options as local and flexible as possible. By the end of the year, roughly 90 percent of U.S. households are forecast by Brick Meets Click to have access to at least one delivery or pick-up service for groceries. It will be interesting to see which of the two takes off most and whether consumer confidence in driverless vehicles will be sufficient to pull in the orders.