Walmart continues its experiments with self-driving grocery deliveries with a new trial in Surprise, Arizona. This latest pilot will use startup Udelv’s autonomous cargo vans that are “custom-made” for food drop-offs.
When the trial starts later this month, Walmart customers can have their groceries delivered by Udelv’s second-generation vehicles by placing orders online. The driverless vans are powered by Baidu’s updated self-driving platform, Apollo 3.5. If you are in that part of Arizona check it out and see if you like this service. The vehicles are called “The Newton”.
Walmart says that it has a store within five miles of 70 percent of the US population, so if this takes off they have the infrastructure in place to add more cities. The company pushed to make deliveries to 100 cities by the end of 2018, but after halting its deliveries with Uber last year, and some problems with its employee-based dispatches, it’s seeing if self-driving cars are the way forward.
Hopefully, this will work out for the company, but only time will tell. If their experiments work out in Surprise Arizona, it likely won’t be long before they will expand outward to more cities in an effort to compete with the likes of Amazon.
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