Each week, we spotlight a cool innovation recommended by some of the industry's top tech writers. This week's pick is a futuristic way to get your groceries.
The era of driverless delivery robots is near, said Andrew Hawkins at The Verge. Supermarket chain Kroger and U.S. tech firm Nuro recently launched their first live test of autonomous grocery delivery cars in Scottsdale, Arizona. To start with, only one location will take part in the pilot program: a Kroger-owned Fry's Food Store. Nearby customers can place orders online or via Fry's mobile app.
At first, groceries will be delivered by self-driving Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf cars, with a human "safety driver" along for the ride. But in the fall, Nuro will swap in its Nuro R1 vehicle, so customers can expect to see a tiny driverless auto "that looks like a toaster on wheels" roll up to their house. The high-tech service might not appeal to lazy shoppers: Unlike "typical, human-powered" delivery services, the Nuro R1 will make customers "walk to the curb to retrieve their groceries."