Stop & Shop to launch on-demand, self-driving grocery vehicles
Stop & Shop announced that it will launch driverless grocery vehicles in the Greater Boston area beginning in Spring 2019. The vehicles will bring a selection of Stop & Shop produce as well as meal kits and convenience items directly to consumers. Part of an engagement with San Francisco-based startup Robomart, the vehicles are intended to address consumers’ desires to select their own fresh produce when shopping via online or mobile. The engagement will also offer the potential for Stop & Shop to expand beyond its existing brick-and-mortar footprint.
“This is one way in which we’re leveraging new technology to make shopping easier for our customers—by essentially bringing the store to them,” said Mark McGowan, Stop & Shop President. “We also recognize that many of our customers want the opportunity to make their own choices when it comes to fresh produce, and we're proud to be the first retailer to engage with Robomart to address our customers’ needs with their cutting-edge solution.”
Stop & Shop customers in the Boston area can summon a Robomart vehicle with a smartphone app. Upon the Robomart vehicle’s arrival, customers head outside, unlock the vehicle’s doors, then personally select the fruits, vegetables, and other products they would like to purchase. When finished shopping, they just close the doors and send the vehicle on its way. The vehicles’ RFID and computer vision technology automatically record what customers select to provide a checkout-free experience, and receipts are e-mailed within moments.
“For decades, consumers had the convenience of their local greengrocer and milkman coming door to door, and we believe that by leveraging driverless technology we can recreate that level of convenience and accessibility,” said Ali Ahmed, Founder & CEO of Robomart.
All Robomart vehicles are autonomous, electric, and will be remotely piloted from a Robomart facility. Throughout the journey, the teleoperated vehicles will be restocked with fresh Stop & Shop goods.
To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/StopandShop.