Albertsons taps Tortoise for remote-controlled grocery delivery robots – TechCrunch

Albertson Companies, a giant company owned by Graf, which owns Safeway and Jewel-Osco, has launched a pilot program that will test grocery deliveries using a remote-controlled delivery robot developed by Silicon Valley startup Turtle.

The pilot will begin at two Safeway locations in Northern California, although Turtle co-founder and president Dmitry Schwalenko said that if successful, he expects the pilot to continue at other stores in the state and possibly the entire West Coast scale..

Safeway-branded delivery vehicles equipped with Turtle’s sensors and software will be able to deliver goods up to three miles to customers from the store location. Remote control operators located thousands of miles away will direct the delivery cart to its destination.

Delivery carts, which can Hold up to 120 pounds of groceries in four lockable containers, Will initially Is a human escort. The purpose is to remove the additional guide after installing the pilot. Once the delivery cart arrives, the customer receives a text to come out and pick up their groceries.

Safeway Turtle

Image Credit: Turtle / Albertsons

The pilot is the latest example of large retailers adopting technology to deliver goods faster to customers. Amazon, Kröger and Walmart are just a few who are experimenting with delivery robots and using autonomous vehicles for customers or within its distribution network.

“Our team is obsessed with trying new and disruptive technologies that can bring more convenience to our customers,” Rupp, EVP and Chief Customer and Digital Officer said in a statement. “We are fully prepared to test, know and implement winning innovations that ensure that we are providing the easiest and most convenient shopping experience in the entire industry.”

The deal is also a business to take to the tortoise’s delivery cart, a business chase that closed it less than a year ago.

“Idea didn’t hit us until April,” Shevelenko said in a recent interview, which said the first delivery cart was Started in los angeles In late October.

tortoise It started By equipping electric scooters with cameras, electronics, and firmware that allow teleoperators to ride electric scooters and bikes in distant locations or haul them back to their proper parking lot. Last spring, as the COVID-19 epidemic increased demand for delivery services, the tortoise adapted its technology to a cart that could carry shuttle groceries.

“I think about [Amazon] Prime, after that everyone expected a 2-day delivery and felt like a lifetime of seven days. “He said that now two days feel like a lifetime because expectations change to same day delivery.

Turtle initially focused on neighborhood shops and specialty brand shops through a partnership with an online grocery platform. Chewellenko’s strategy is to contract with larger retailers, partnering with online retail platforms, which will allow it to reach smaller, independent stores.