Walmart isn't about to let rivals like Amazon delve further into self-driving deliveries without offering a response. As CNBC reports, the retailer has teamed up with GM's Cruise for a self-driving delivery pilot due to start early 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The project will have an autonomous EV fetch your local store orders. This will save you time and money while also helping to reduce Walmart's impact on the planet, the company said. It also suggested this was particularly helpful while the COVID-19 pandemic raged on, noting that it was a truly "contact-free" delivery option. It has also forged partnerships with companies like Ford and Udelv.
Declaring "it's no longer a question of if...but when" autonomous vehicles are used in retail, President and CEO of Walmart (NYSE:WMT) U.S. John Furner announced the retail titan's intention to invest in General Motors' (NYSE:GM) Cruise self-driving car company in a press release today. Furner said the move will "aid our work toward developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that's fast, low-cost and scalable." The Walmart investment brings the total of Cruise's most recent funding round to $2.75 billion, though neither GM nor Cruise provides specifics on how much each individual company contributes to the whole, CNBC reports. Other investors in the subsidiary include GM itself, Microsoft, Honda Motor, and institutional investors. Among other projects, Cruise intends to roll out self-driving taxis in Dubai within the next two years.
Autonomy is the future and the global robotaxi industry is expected to increase at a rate of 168.29% annually from 2020 to 2025. Robotaxi is a concept of autonomous transport that aims at providing on-demand ride-sharing services. The initial deployment of these vehicles is expected to be at airports, industrial parks, pedestrian areas, and other commercial places. To gain market position, major robotaxi manufacturers are making strategic moves to expand their business, enhance their product portfolio, and increase their sales. One of the big players, a start-up called Cruise, backed by General Motors announced that Walmart and institutional investors have joined the funding, boosting the total to $2.75 billion.
Autonomous vehicle startup Cruise has partnered with Walmart to deliver orders from a Scottsdale, AZ, Walmart store to local customers' homes, starting early next year. General Motors-backed autonomous vehicle startup Cruise has announced a partnership with Walmart to deliver orders from a Scottsdale, AZ, Walmart store to local customers' homes, starting early next year. Customers will be able to place orders to the store and have them delivered in one of Cruise's electric self-driving Chevy Bolts. If the pilot goes well, a Cruise spokesperson said, the company will mull launching on-demand delivery with other retailers in the future. Walmart has forged driverless vehicle delivery partnerships with other automakers and startups.
Walmar WMTt wants to learn whether robotic deliveries fit in with its retail operations so it's launching a pilot program with General Motors GM-backed Cruise using the tech startup's electric, self-driving to haul groceries and other goods to suburban Phoenix customers. The project starts sometime in early 2021 and will use battery-powered vehicles in Cruise's test fleet in Scottsdale, Arizona, Tom Ward, Walmart's senior vice president for customer product, said in a blog post Tuesday. Cruise has said the electricity used to charge up its self-driving fleet comes entirely from renewable resources, which helps the retailer's goal of curbing carbon emissions from its operations. "Customers can place an order from their local store and have it delivered, contact-free, via one of Cruise's all-electric self-driving cars," Ward said. "Technology that has the potential to not only save customers time and money but also be helpful to the planet is technology we want to learn more about."