Albertsons, which owns Jewel-Osco and Safeway, has introduced a new pilot program that tests the delivery robots made by the startup, Tortoise.
The pilot program of Albertsons is going to start at two Safeway locations present in Northern California. However, Tortoise President and co-founder, Dmitry Shevelenko, stated that he plans to scale to other stores if it is successful.
The Safeway-branded delivery carts with software and Tortoise’s sensors will provide the customers the goods from three miles of the store location. The remote-control operators will lead the cart to its destination.
The delivery carts are able to hold around 120 pounds of groceries in four lockable containers. Moreover, they will initially have a human escort. The main agenda is to remove the cart when the pilot is made. When the delivery cart comes, the customers will receive a text message to pick up their groceries.
This pilot is just another example of large retailers using technology to get good customers faster. Top retail giants, like Amazon and Walmart, are testing autonomous vehicles to get more customers. Recently, Amazon suffered a blow when the CEO, Jeff Bezos, decided to step down as the CEO and Andy Jassy took over as the new CEO. (https://rushhourdaily.com/jeff-bezos-steps-down-as-amazon-ceo-andy-jassy-to-take-over/).
The EVP and the chief digital and customer officer, Chris Rupp, stated, “Our team loves to test new technologies. We keep the best interests of our customers in mind. We are willing to test and implement the latest technologies, which ensure a convenient shopping experience.”
Initially, the main focus of Tortoise (https://www.tortoise.dev/) was on especially brand shops and neighborhood stores, by partnering with an online grocery platform. However, Shevelenko’s aim is to get contracts with big retailers and continue to partner with e-commerce platforms. Moreover, the demand for delivery services increased dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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