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Walmart trials Waymo's self-driving cars for grocery pickup service

Waymo began in 2009 as Google's self-driving car project and, as part of the trial, it will shuttle customers to and from the Walmart store so that they can pick up their groceries. Photo credit: Waymo

Waymo is partnering with US retailer, Walmart, to pilot autonomous vehicles at its store in Chandler, Arizona.

Waymo began in 2009 as Google's self-driving car project. As part of the trial, it will shuttle customers to and from the Walmart store so that they can pick up their groceries.

The trial will be limited to Waymo’s 400 daily users known as “early riders." 

The news comes shortly after Waymo announced that its self-driving cars now drive approximately 25,000 miles per day and have completed 8mn miles on public roads to date. 

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In recent months, Walmart has ramped up its digital efforts, in a bid to compete with rivals such as Amazon and Kroger.  

Earlier this month, the company signed a five-year agreement with Microsoft Corp. to help accelerate its digital transformation.

Walmart has also revealed that it intends to expand its online grocery delivery service to more than 40% of US households by the end of the year.

Last month, America’s largest supermarket chain, Kroger, also announced that it was embarking on an autonomous vehicle pilot. 

Teaming up with self-driving car startup Nuro, the retailer says it plans to offer same-day grocery delivery using autonomous vehicles.

In doing so, it hopes to tackle the challenge of ‘last mile delivery’.

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