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Retail Industry Updates

Walmart Taking a Spin with Self-Driving Car Company

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As part of the pilot, which begins early next year, customers can place an order from their local Walmart and have it delivered contact-free via one of Cruise’s all-electric self-driving cars.

As home delivery continues to grow by leaps and bounds in retail, so does the technology to transport it — and retailers’ willingness to embrace it.

That’s why Walmart recently announced a partnership with self-driving car company Cruise, which is owned by General Motors, to pilot a new delivery program in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“We may be growing delivery options today, but we’re still experimenting with new ways we can use technology to serve customers in the future,” Walmart’s Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product, wrote in a blog on the company’s website.

As part of the pilot, which begins early next year, customers can place an order from their local Walmart and have it delivered contact-free via one of Cruise’s all-electric self-driving cars.

“What’s unique about Cruise is it’s the only self-driving car company to operate an entire fleet of all-electric vehicles powered with 100% renewable energy, which supports our road to zero emissions by 2040,” Ward said. “Technology that has the potential to not only save customers time and money but also is helpful to the planet is technology we want to learn more about.”

Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart has been rapidly expanding its pickup and delivery services throughout 2020 to meet staying-at-home consumers’ needs throughout the pandemic. In April, Walmart launched Express Delivery and has since scaled it to more than 2,800 stores, reaching more than 65% of American households.

“We’re excited to add Cruise to our lineup of autonomous vehicle pilots as we continue to chart a whole new roadmap for retail,” Ward said.

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