7-Eleven announced today they are launching an autonomous delivery pilot program in Mountain View, California, in partnership with autonomous delivery tech startup Nuro.
While the Golden State has been a hotbed of activity for autonomous delivery for sidewalk bots, California has trailed Texas in the rollout of autonomous on-street deliveries. All that changes today with the launch of the Nuro pilot, which will be the first commercial autonomous delivery service in the state of California. The path for the program was paved late last year when Nuro received the first-ever Autonomous Vehicle Deployment Permit from the California DMV.
As with other Nuro rollouts, the 7-Eleven deployment will eventually use both the company’s proprietary R2 robot and Toyota Prius’s equipped with Nuro’s self-driving hardware and software. However, according to the announcement, the pilot will begin with outfitted Priuses that include a human driver in the driver’s seat. These “autonomous vehicle operators” will monitor the technology and ensure an optimal delivery experience, but will not bring the delivery to the door of the customer so as to make the service feel as ‘human-free’ as possible. Eventually, the two companies plan to introduce the Nuro R2 bots (without human drivers) into the pilot.
Customers in the Mountain View area who want to try out the service can start by placing an order with the 7-Eleven 7NOW app. After choosing autonomous delivery, customers should see a Nuro-powered Prius pulling up with their Slurpee and cheese dog order within 30 minutes. The service will be available to those nearby the 7-Eleven at 1905 Latham Street in Mountain View. Deliveries will be available from 8AM–9PM, seven days a week.
You can watch a video of how the 7-Eleven/Nuro pilot service below: