Boise-based Albertsons Companies and Google’s Waymo sister company are teaming up to deliver groceries in self-driving vehicles.
It’s the latest in a whole slew of technology projects from the Boise company as it works to adapt its longstanding traditional grocery business in a changing competitive landscape.
Fortune Magazine reports the two companies will start autonomous grocery delivery early next year in San Francisco, involving Albertsons’ Safeway stores. The service will start in a test open to Safeway and Waymo, before expanding, the magazine reports.
Customers will order groceries, which are loaded into a Waymo Via vehicle and delivered curbside to their home or business. The partnership was announced at a summit in Half Moon Bay, California earlier this week. Waymo also has delivery partnerships with companies like 7-Eleven, UPS, and AutoNation.
Albertsons and Google announced a tech-focused partnership earlier this year. Google and Waymo are both units of Alphabet Inc.
It’s the latest project for Albertsons, with announcements coming fast and furious. BoiseDev has reported on scores of projects, including an AI-powered grocery cart, app-based checkout, membership program, robotic delivery carts, automated grocery pickup kiosks, robotic aisle scanners, small fulfillment warehouses, and more.
The company has trialed most of the experiments either in the Boise market or in the area surrounding its secondary headquarters in Pleasanton, California. It’s been working to make major adjustments in recent years as consumer behavioral habits have changed. Amazon, Inc. has disrupted most retail segments but for the most part, has not cracked grocery delivery. Albertsons, along with traditional competitors like Kroger and Walmart have amped up activities over the last five to ten years in an effort to keep their businesses intact.