Piloted robots will soon be delivering thousands of grocery items to residents in Dallas
Leading convenience industry e-commerce provider, Vroom Delivery has partnered with last-mile delivery robot operator, Tortoise—founded by a former Uber executive—and Dallas convenience retailer Urban Value Corner Store to bring on-demand delivery of thousands of products to consumers' doors in the coming months.
Products will include grocery staples such as milk and eggs, as well as beverages, ice cream, snacks and more, all delivered in under an hour. Alcohol and tobacco items will also be available for delivery from human drivers.
Each delivery robot is about the size of a large cooler and is remotely piloted, ensuring a human is always at the wheel. The robots operate on the sidewalks and drive at an average speed of around 3mph, allowing them to safely navigate around people, cars, pets, and other obstacles.
The cart can carry more than 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator when it arrives at its destination.
The Vroom + Tortoise partnership allows for a contactless, zero-emission, and affordable home delivery option, mitigating sustainability and congestion challenges. The Tortoise Cart is 100 percent electric, removing the need for a gas-guzzling delivery vehicle and minimizing the traffic impact of e-commerce.
Dmitry Shevelenko, Co-Founder of Tortoise, said "We are thrilled to be working with Urban Value, a leading convenience store chain in downtown Dallas, on a pilot deployment in the coming months."
Urban Value, which operates stores in and around the Dallas area, will initially be piloting the program from its downtown location. Upon the success of the initial pilot, they intend to continue to roll the program out across the Metroplex. Steve McKinley, CEO of Urban Value said
"We are very excited to pilot this first-in-market contactless shopping opportunity. I expect that this technology combined with our diverse product offering will provide downtown Dallas residents and office staff a much more convenient shopping experience," McKinley said.
John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery, said, "In addition to the obvious contactless and environmental benefits, what we like about this concept is that this is also a very affordable solution for both the store and the consumer, significantly lowering the average cost of delivery."
Customers can already order delivery from Urban Value for home delivery through the Vroom platform, with robots taking up the last mile responsibilities within the coming months. Vroom Delivery and Tortoise are also making this offering available to other convenience store chains across the country.