CHICAGO —The battle to disrupt American commerce has taken an automated turn as more firms try their hand at self-driving delivery vehicles. From Amazon to Domino’s, retailers and restaurants alike are exploring delivery through automated vehicles (AVs). Meanwhile, the race to perfect frictionless checkout continues, now with more providers and more communities enacting bans on cashless stores.
Here is a monthly breakdown ...
Amazon begins testing sidewalk delivery robots in Snohomish County near Seattle. The rolling couriers drive themselves but are accompanied by an Amazon employee.
The Kroger Co. installs smart shelves powered by Microsoft in stores across the United States. The shelves allow customers to more easily find items and information about them using their mobile devices.
Grocery chain Stop & Shop announces plans to test AV deliveries with Robomart in the Boston area. Robomart vehicles carry shelves with a selection of items. Customers can summon the bots with a smartphone app.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is planning to open “dozens” of grocery stores—separate from the Amazon Go concept—in cities across the United States.
Nuro and Kroger expand their test of Nuro’s self-driving delivery vehicles to two Houston stores after a successful 2018 test in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The disruptor becomes the disrupted when Amazon tells CSP it is “working to accept cash at Amazon Go.” The move follows the passage of bans on cashless stores in Philadelphia and New Jersey.
Waymo—Google’s self-driving car division—announces plans to open a manufacturing facility for AVs in Detroit in 2019.
In a blog post, Amazon reveals it could launch flying, autonomous delivery drones “within months.” It claims the drones can fly up to 15 miles carrying less than 5 pounds on one charge.
Pizza chain Domino’s announces it will test AV deliveries using Nuro’s self-driving fleet.