Walmart Launches Pilot Program to Bring Shoppers to Stores Using Self-Driving Cars From Waymo
The pilot program will use Waymo's self-driving cars to transport customers to and from Walmart stores.
This summer, Walmart, the Arkansas based giant "Everything" retailer, launched a pilot program in which the company hooked up with Google's Waymo to help transport customers to and from Its stores.
The Retailer will use Waymo's self-driving cars to help customers make it to their stores. This program, according to Walmart is designed to help make it easier for customers who do not own cars to shop. Customers will be transported to and from designated pickup and drop off locations.
The pilot program currently runs out of a Walmart store in Chandler, AZ. According to Tom Ward, Vice president of digital operations at Walmart, the pilot program will be limited to a group within Waymo's 400 daily users, called "early riders".
"We’re always thinking of ways we can serve our customers now and into the future. And we’re looking at different technology and capabilities that keep customers loving the time-saving, wallet-saving service that is Online Grocery for years to come. So, enter a small pilot project we’re running with Waymo, formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project"
Waymo, which started out as Google's self-driving car project, has driven over 8 million miles on roads across 25 cities in the United States.
Customers, for the Waymo-Walmart project, will be able to order a grocery pickup on Walmart.com
“Our personal shoppers get to work picking customers’ orders based on their pickup times,” stated Ward. “Waymo does the rest. They transport customers to and from pickup, and all the while, those customers can text, nap, work… you name it.”
The goal of the pilot is to learn, with a focus on making Walmart’s online grocery pickup more convenient, according to Ward.