Journey to last-mile deliveries has only just started
Online grocery deliveries need to overcome obstacles
Online grocery delivery helped save my reputation. Taking one child to the supermarket to do our weekly shopping was difficult. With two, the task was impossible, and I started picking fights with the checkout employees. But then our local grocer started offering online delivery, and I was hooked. More than a decade later, I have a monthly "subscription" to UK online grocer Ocado and routinely order twice a week. But it isn’t cheap and I periodically suffer through late deliveries and squashed fruit. So the US supermarket chain Kroger caught my eye last week when it announced plans to pilot a self-driving grocery delivery service starting in the early autumn. Its Silicon Valley partner, Nuro, showed off its vehicle at Kroger’s annual meeting last week. The robo-van looks like a giant plastic box on wheels with two trunk-like delivery compartments that each hold six grocery bags. Dave Ferguson, one of the two former Google engineers who founded and run Nuro, believes that one day his...