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12/02/2021

7-Eleven to launch autonomous delivery pilot in California

Retailers partnering with Nuro, which received a deployment permit from the California DMV a year ago.
Michelle Warren
Editor, Convenience Store News Canada
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7-Eleven and Nuro to Offer Mountain View, CA Residents On-Demand Delivery Using Autonomous Vehicles
7-Eleven and Nuro to offer on-demand delivery using autonomous vehicles

7-Eleven, Inc. is teaming up with Nuro, a robotics company transforming local commerce with autonomous vehicles, to pilot autonomous delivery to customers in Mountain View, CA.

Through the pilot, 7-Eleven customers in the service area will be able order through the 7NOW delivery app to have their products (excluding age-restricted items, such as alcohol, tobacco products, lottery ticket) delivered .

"7-Eleven has owned and defined convenience since 1927," said Raghu Mahadevan, 7-Eleven chief digital officer. "Our first foray into autonomous delivery was in 2016 when 7-Eleven became the first retailer in the U.S. to make a drone delivery to a customer's house. Since then, we haven't stopped looking for ways to redefine convenience for our customers inside and outside the four walls of our stores. Fast forward to 2021, and we are pushing the boundaries of innovation even further to provide customers with the first commercial autonomous delivery service in California. I can't wait to see where we go from here."

Nuro will begin this delivery service with its autonomous Priuses, which will include an autonomous vehicle operator in the driver seat to monitor the technology and ensure an optimal delivery experience as the service rolls out, and later introduce R2 bots, the company's autonomous robots that are custom-built to transport products and goods without any occupants in the vehicle. In December 2020, Nuro received a deployment permit from the California DMV, enabling the launch of this inaugural commercial delivery service.

"Residents in the state of California-a major hub of innovation-have never been able to experience the commercial delivery of goods by an autonomous vehicle. Nuro is teaming up with 7-Eleven to change that," said Jiajun Zhu, Nuro CEO and co-founder. "We've always wanted to bring Nuro's autonomous delivery to our local community and to our neighbours. We couldn't be more excited to do this with an iconic neighbourhood store like 7-Eleven in our hometown, Mountain View."