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04/20/2021

Walmart Invests in Driverless Vehicles After Pilot Test

Walmart is stepping into the world of self-driving cars by taking part in a $2.75 billion investment round into an autonomous vehicle startup.
walmart Cruise

The investment into Cruise, based in San Francisco, comes after Walmart piloted contact-free deliveries of online orders in Scottsdale, Arizona, last year with the Cruise’s driverless vehicles. 

“The investment will aid our work toward developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that’s fast, low-cost and scalable,” Walmart CEO and President John Furner wrote in a post announcing the investment.

However, Cruise has not been the retail giant’s first foray into autonomous vehicles, Chain Store Age reported. Walmart also tested driverless technology from Nuro R2 in Houston in 2019. 

Cruise stands out because its vehicles are powered by 100% renewable electric energy, which could help Walmart achieve its goal to reach zero emissions by 2040 if it widely adopts the electric vehicles for deliveries. Walmart also pledged to reach 100% renewable energy by 2035.

“This investment is a marker for us--it shows our commitment to bringing the benefit of self-driving cars to our customers and business,” Furner wrote. “We’re excited to join Cruise’s already impressive partner and investor ecosystem with the likes of GM, Honda and Microsoft as we work toward pioneering this emerging technology.”

See the full story at Chain Store Age.