Today, Kroger announced it is partnering with self-driving vehicle startup Nuro in order to deliver groceries directly to customers' homes, according to Reuters. It's not clear where the test program will take place. Nuro is still obtaining regulatory approval for the project to take place.
Nuro's vehicles differ from most other automated cars and trucks on the road because they are designed to operate without a person in them. These small vehicles are solely intended to deliver goods. The cars move slowly and take up very little space on the road because they do not have to cater to passengers.
This is just another step in traditional grocery stores' fight against Amazon. After its purchase of Whole Foods, the company has begun offering free local two-hour delivery to Prime subscribers in certain markets. As a result, Kroger and other grocery chains need to figure out a way to cut costs when it comes to delivering customers' orders. This is just one way the company is looking to stay competitive.