Walmart is expanding both its delivery and sustainability footprints through the launch of an all-electric self-driving car pilot, in partnership with Cruise. The test will begin in Scottsdale, Ariz. in early 2021 as part of Walmart’s efforts to reach zero emissions by 2040.
The Cruise self-driving cars will make contactless deliveries for local orders. The new project joins an existing autonomous-driving van partnership with Udelv in Surprise, Ariz., and a Ford partnership that focuses on fixed routes from warehouse to warehouse or to pickup points.
Autonomous delivery is just one facet of Walmart’s efforts to speed up and improve delivery services, which includes the launch of Walmart+ as a competitor to Amazon Prime. Walmart also has allied with Instacart to boost its same-day grocery delivery capabilities and launched an automated drone pilot in North Carolina through a partnership with Flytrex.
“This year, we’ve had our foot on the accelerator expanding our pickup and delivery services, so customers can get the items they need quickly and safely,” said Tom Ward, SVP of Customer Product, Walmart U.S. in a blog post. “In April alone, we launched Express Delivery and have since scaled it to more than 2,800 stores, reaching more than 65% of American households.”