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Walmart, Waymo Team Up On Self-Driving Chauffeur For Shoppers

A Waymo car

Walmart is launching a small pilot project with Waymo, formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project.

Waymo is a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for everyone to get around – without the need for anyone in the driver’s seat. The company’s cars have self-driven more than 8 million miles on roads across 25 U.S. cities already. Walmart is working with Waymo on an online grocery pilot project—limited to a group within Waymo’s 400 daily users known as “early riders”—that will run out of one Walmart store in Chandler, Arizona.

To use the service, those in the pilot can place an Online Grocery Pickup order at Walmart.com/grocery. Walmart’s personal shoppers will pick customers’ orders based on their pickup times, and Waymo will do the rest, transporting customers to and from pickup.

“We’re always thinking of ways we can serve our customers now and into the future,” wrote Tom Ward, VP of digital operations for Walmart U.S., on the company’s website. “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…

“The purpose of all of this: to learn,” Ward continued. “While giving customers a unique experience with amazing technology, we’re learning how we can make Walmart Online Grocery Pickup even more convenient. Waymo’s experience, industry leading technology and mission on safety is helping us enter this space in the right way.”

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