Albertsons Companies has partnered with Tortoise, an automated logistics company focused on last-mile solutions, to pilot its remote-controlled, zero-emission delivery cart in Northern California.
“Our team is obsessed with trying new and disruptive technologies that can bring more convenience for our customers,” said Chris Rupp, EVP and chief customer and digital officer. “We are willing to quickly test, learn and implement winning innovations that ensure we are offering the easiest and most convenient shopping experience in the entire industry.”
The Safeway cart, powered by California-based Tortoise, is equipped with a camera and a speaker and is guided through the neighborhood by a remote operator. The cart can hold up to 120 pounds of groceries in four lockable containers for a contactless delivery experience.
When the cart arrives at a home, the customer receives a text to come outside and pick up their groceries. The carts are specifically designed to deliver groceries and parcels in a safe manner—at an average speed of 3 mph and powered entirely by an electric battery.
Currently, the service is open for testing with Safeway associates in select Northern California neighborhoods. In these early stages, a friendly escort will accompany the cart as part of the pilot process.
Albertsons Companies is the parent of Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets and others in the grocery space.
In Chicago, the company recently announced that it is piloting pickup lockers and an automated pickup kiosk at select Jewel-Osco locations.