McKINNEY, Texas — Last-mile delivery robots are coming to Dallas through a partnership of local convenience retailer Urban Value Corner Store, e-commerce provider Vroom Delivery and delivery robot operator Tortoise.
Products will include grocery staples such as milk and eggs, as well as beverages, ice cream, snacks and more, delivered in under an hour. Alcohol and tobacco items will also be available for delivery from human drivers.
Each delivery robot is about the size of a large cooler and is remotely piloted by a human. The robots operate on the sidewalks and drive at an average speed of around 3 miles per hour. The cart can carry more than 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator when it arrives at its destination. The Tortoise Cart is 100% electric.
“We are thrilled to be working with Urban Value, a leading convenience store chain in downtown Dallas, on a pilot deployment in the coming months,” said Dmitry Shevelenko, co-founder of Tortoise.
Urban Value, which operates three stores in and around the Dallas area, will initially pilot the program from its downtown location. Upon the success of the initial pilot, the team at Urban Value intends to continue to roll the program out across the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex. “We are very excited to pilot this first-in-market contactless shopping opportunity. I expect that this technology combined with our diverse product offering will provide downtown Dallas residents and office staff a much more convenient shopping experience,” said Steve McKinley, CEO of Urban Value.
“In addition to the obvious contactless and environmental benefits, what we like about this concept is that this is also a very affordable solution for both the store and the consumer, significantly lowering the average cost of delivery,” said John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery.
Customers can already order delivery from Urban Value for home delivery through the Vroom platform, with robots taking up the last mile responsibilities within the coming months. Vroom Delivery and Tortoise are also making this offering available to other convenience store chains across the country.
Founded in 2019 with headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tortoise powers low-speed remote repositioning for light electric vehicles like delivery bots, shared scooters and cleaning robots.
Vroom Delivery, founded in 2016 with headquarters in Chicago, is an e-commerce provider for convenience stores, providing the technical aspects required for chains of convenience stores to operate and manage their own e-commerce and delivery services.
Based in McKinney, Texas, Urban Value Corner Store offers a quiet and clean place to shop for a variety of food and beverages—beer, wine and sodas, freshly brewed coffee, pastries, snacks and healthy meals. The store offers essential household items, over-the-counter medications, pet snacks and toys, as well as local Texas-made products.
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