Waymo & Walmart team up to test self-driving cars for grocery pickups

Recently, Walmart, the multinational retail giant and Waymo, Google’s self-driving vehicle project announced the launch of a pilot program that will enable customers arrange grocery pickups through a self-driving vehicle. Presently, Waymo’s early riding program is offering residents of Phoenix an everyday access to its autonomous cars in exchange for feedback.

Reportedly, the early rider’s program offers a simple plan. Whenever a participant makes a purchase from Walmart’s online store, the program will enable the customer to choose a driverless shuttle from the store’s online grocery pickup service.

Molly Blakeman, Walmart spokesperson mentioned that early riders participating in the program are entitled to incentives and rides will be provided at no additional cost. She added that since the pilot is a part of the Grocery Pickup program, personal shoppers will pick the gathered items and bring them to the Waymo self-driving car. The pilot will continue for a limited time only, affirms Blakeman.

According to Waymo, the program aims to make shopping more convenient, which represents one of the top needs of its present riders. Currently, the company only caters to the Phoenix metropolitan area and collaborates with a single Walmart store in Chandler, stated a press release.

Google’s former autonomous car project, Waymo represents a new way in mobility that ensures safe and easy commute without anyone in the driver’s seat. The firm has been busy collaborating with partners to innovate its riders’ experience.

Besides grabbing groceries, the self-driving cars will enhance the VIP experience for visitors in Phoenix. The company has teamed up with Element Hotel to allow select guests access Waymo vehicles to commute during their stay. Although Waymo’s current partners are Phoenix-based, the firm’s businesses are national. Therefore, down the line, it will lead to a network of partners when launched in new cities, believes Waymo.