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Technology Walmart brings autonomous grocery deliveries to Houston

19:20  10 december  2019
19:20  10 december  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Walmart will now deliver groceries right to your fridge for a $20 monthly fee

  Walmart will now deliver groceries right to your fridge for a $20 monthly fee Walmart's new "InHome" delivery service launches in three US cities today.The Walmart InHome grocery service launched today in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Vero Beach, Florida, letting customers in those three cities order fruit, milk and other perishable items right to their fridges. The service is available for refrigerators in either homes or garages.

Walmart is testing new ways to deliver your milk, eggs and bread using self-driving vehicles.

a car parked in front of a store: Walmart is trying out self-driving shipments. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. Walmart is trying out self-driving shipments. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The world's largest retailer said Tuesday it has teamed up with Nuro, a Mountain View, California-based autonomous vehicle startup, to pilot grocery deliveries in Houston. Nuro, founded in 2016, has already raised $1 billion in funding, according to Crunchbase. It has previously partnered with Domino's for pizza deliveries and Kroger for grocery deliveries.

a small blue car: A look at grocery deliveries via a Nuro vehicle. Walmart© Provided by CNET A look at grocery deliveries via a Nuro vehicle. Walmart

Walmart, which is the biggest grocer in the US, in the past year unveiled partnerships with Ford and Gatik to test self-driving grocery shipments.

Best Buy takes on Amazon with free next-day deliveries

  Best Buy takes on Amazon with free next-day deliveries Best Buy is offering free next-day deliveries over the holidays. The expedited shipping will be available to almost everyone (99 percent of customers) and include almost everything (except heavier items like big-screen TVs and refrigerators). If customers are outside of the next-day zone, they'll still get free standard shipping. This offer could make Best Buy more of a threat to Amazon, especially because Best Buy's shipping is free and AmazonThis offer could make Best Buy more of a threat to Amazon, especially because Best Buy's shipping is free and Amazon customers still have to sign up for Prime to get the free delivery perk.

This work continues Walmart's experiments with online orders and grocery deliveries, with the retailer also offering a service in which someone enters your home and puts your groceries right into your fridge. With tons of competition in the grocery industry and Amazon aggressively working to grow in this market, Walmart is likely trying to figure out the future of grocery sales before someone else does.

a car that has a sign on the side of a building: Walmart picks a fight with Amazon, hoping to make itself a bigger name online.© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walmart picks a fight with Amazon, hoping to make itself a bigger name online.

Amazon in October did away with its $14.99 monthly fee for its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery program for Prime members, undercutting Walmart's new Delivery Unlimited service, which costs $12.95 a month.

But so far, most US customers are happy to still go to the store, with online grocery services accounting for just 3% of total sales, according to management consultancy Bain & Co. Walmart has seen more success with its curbside grocery pickup service, which it has expanded to 3,100 pickup locations.

Amazon has also been testing autonomous deliveries, including flying drones and roving Scout robots. Meanwhile, the startup Starship has also been bringing self-driving robots to US college campuses.

Walmart will test driverless grocery deliveries in Houston .
Walmart is about to experiment with autonomous grocery delivery in a big way. The big-box retailer is launching a pilot program in Houston that will use Nuro's self-driving R1 vehicle to shuttle food from "select" stores to customers who've opted into the program. The companies didn't outline how customers would enroll, but Houstonians can expect service to start in the "coming weeks." The test run will help Nuro and Walmart "develop and refine"The test run will help Nuro and Walmart "develop and refine" their services, including providing the best "end-to-end" experience for shoppers.

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