Walmart's push to use robots in how it gets items to customers continues with Cruise, owned by General Motors, now signing on in Arizona. The test will involve autonomous cars with the trial taking place in Scottsdale, just outside Phoenix. Customers will be able to order items from a local Walmart, and have them deliveries to their door, said Walmart in a blog post.
Big on robots, Walmart has had similar trials with other autonomous delivery services in recent years including Gatik in Arkansas, and Waymo in Phoenix in 2018 among other test runs. And they're hardly the only retailer looking at how autonomous delivery services could upend the way customers get purchases.
Amazon is also testing autonomous deliveries, even using small robots called Scout, to drop off items to customersAmazon
Grocery chain Kroger has tested autonomous cars, running a trial in Arizona, with a safety driver at the wheel, Waymo has teamed up with UPS, and Amazon has sent mini-robots, called Scout, to the streets to delivery small items throughout the country. And of course autonomous mini robots are already at work on college campuses around the nation from the University of Pittsburgh to George Mason University, dropping off bagels, pizza and tacos to hungry students and staff.
And then there are drones, with Flytrex, Alphabet's Wing and Deuce Drone all running trials on how to use autonomous flying machines to drop everything from coffee to burgers to people's doorsteps and even on the putting green.
Walmart recently, though, kicked out robots from its stores where they had installed the machines on hundreds of stores to handle tasks including scanning shelves for inventory, clean floors and unlock items in the stockroom.
The Walmart test with Cruise in Arizona is not expected to get started in 2021. So that means Santa, this year, has nothing to worry about.
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