Asda has launched “Britain’s biggest autonomous grocery home delivery trial”, partnering with technology firm Wayve to trial self-driving vehicles at its Park Royal, West London site.
As part of a 12-month project, customers will randomly be selected to have their orders delivered by a driverless Jaguar I-Pace electric car. The autonomous deliveries will be supervised by a Wayve safety diver and Asda worker, who will also unload the groceries.
According to Asda, this is the “first trial in the UK that can launch directly into commercial operations, without diverging from the operation of the store’s online delivery processes.”
Simon Gregg, Asda’s vice-president of ecommerce, said: “Asda has long understood the value of bringing tech innovation to the online grocery sector and we are always looking at new and innovative partnerships to improve delivery options for customers.
“We believe autonomous technology is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of delivery, not only at our Park Royal store but throughout our nationwide operation.
“Through our partnership with Wayve, we are trialling this technology to understand how it can assist our busy store operations, whilst also adding a unique, reliable and efficient option for Asda customers to have a whole range of products delivered to their doors.”
Alex Kendall, Wayve, CEO and co-founder, added: “We’re excited to partner with Asda on the largest urban autonomous grocery delivery trial in Europe. The trial is a demonstration of how autonomy can meet fleet owner needs. We started developing our AV technology over five years ago: it’s incredible to see it delivering real value today as part of Asda’s daily operations.”
“We value our work with Asda to build the foundations of future autonomous grocery delivery. Trials like this one accelerate our road to deployment. They provide the learnings required to bring the benefits of AV technology to customers sooner while ensuring that businesses, like Asda, are prepared to deploy AVs at scale.”