Walmart shoppers in Chandler, Arizona, will take a look at the future of transportation this week, with the mega-retailer becoming Waymos' autonomous customers Cars Chauffeured] An exclusive group of customers ordering food through Walmart.com will make a drive from their home to the store in one of Waymos self-propelled vans from Chrysler Pacifica. You do not even have to leave the air-conditioned comfort of the car because a Walmart employee brings their order to them.
The pilot program, which is currently limited to Chandler, involves grocery stores, but Walmart declined to explain the details. Walmart is on the bill for the program, but the terms of the deal are not disclosed.
"The purpose of all this: to learn," said Tom Ward, vice president of Walmart's e-commerce operations, in a blog post. "While providing our customers with a unique experience and amazing technology, we are learning how to make Walmart online grocery shopping even more convenient."
The partnership gives an insight into the future of transportation. Autonomous vehicles are expected to dramatically reduce transportation costs. Leading experts in the field believe that companies will be happy to pay when self-driving cars bring customers to them.
It is also another example of Walmart and Google working together against Amazon, which has recently introduced a two-hour prime delivery in certain cities.
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At the moment, only the 400 people in Waymo's early access program can participate in the program. Walmart and Waymo did not want to comment on how long the pilot project would last and whether it could be extended to other customers in Chandler and other cities in the Copper State.
Arizona was an enthusiastic early adopter of autonomous vehicles, and lawmakers are committed to welcoming the tech companies and automakers that develop this technology.
Several local companies have joined them to hug self-driving cars. Even as Walmart announced on Wednesday, a mall in Phoenix said it would use Waymo vans to chauffeur customers to their businesses. And customers who have their cars serviced at AutoNation in Phoenix will have the opportunity to drive in one of Waymo's vans rather than in a rental car.
CNNMoney (Washington) First published on July 25, 201