Autonomous grocery delivery deal is 'world's largest'

September 18, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Autonomous delivery vehicle (ADV) startup udelv (San Francisco, CA) has announced a deal to supply Oklahoma City's (OKC) largest local chain of grocery stores, Buy For Less (BFL), with self-driving delivery vans - the first grocery chain in the world to make such a large scale ADV investment.

The company signed the deal - said to be the largest ADV deal in the world to date - with Esperanza Real Estate Investments and its affiliate entity Narnia Road. In the agreement, udelv will supply supermarkets like Uptown Grocery, Buy For Less, Buy For Less Super Mercado, and Smart Saver with an initial 10 customized cargo vans to service online deliveries in the OKC metro area.

The custom-made cargo vans - built specifically for last and middle-mile delivery on public roads - will initially operate with safety drivers until both companies and regulators deem them approved for safe driverless operation. The vehicles, says udelv, will eventually cover thousands of miles of residential roads in what will be one of the largest autonomous driving deployments in the world.

The companies also secured an exclusive dealership agreement with udelv for additional fleet vans to service other local merchants, residents, and potential pharmacies in underserved markets. In addition, udelv and Esperanza Real Estate Investments will establish operations in Oklahoma City and create a state-of-the-art tele-operations center for the remote control and monitoring of the fleet.

“The partnership between udelv and Esperanza and the BFL Company of stores is a historic agreement and signals the start of ADVs making everyday life easier for Americans," says udelv CEO, Daniel Laury. "We're proud to be working with a visionary company committed to helping us pioneer the future of delivery technology."

The first vehicle is due to be delivered in Q1, 2019 with the full fleet delivered by the end of June 2019.


Related articles:
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Robotics startup unveils self-driving delivery vehicle
Ford, Domino’s test automated pizza delivery
Boeing invests in on-demand UAV delivery startup

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