Sunday, July 1, 2018

"America’s largest supermarket chain is launching a fully driverless delivery service"

If you've ever played the board game Risk you've probably learned that one way to ensure a loss is to attack more than one enemy at a time and have those (now multiple) enemies attack you in concert.

Amazon may be approaching the point where they will have a lot of territory to defend, across many industries.

Also, never fight a land war in Asia.
—Field Marshal's Montgomery, MacArthur, Vizzini

From The Verge:

Kroger is teaming up with Nuro, a startup founded by two veterans of Google’s self-driving team
Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, is teaming up with Nuro, a two-year-company started by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car team, to launch a fully driverless delivery service, the two companies announced Thursday. 

A pilot will be rolled out to a yet-to-be-announced city later this fall. To start out, Nuro will use a fleet of self-driving test vehicles with human safety drivers to make deliveries for Kroger’s grocery stores. Customers can track and interact with the vehicles via a Nuro app or Kroger’s pre-existing online delivery platform. But if Nuro’s human test drivers don’t get out to help you, don’t be mad because in our driverless future, we all need to pitch in and unload our own groceries. 

“Obviously we don’t want to come across as rude,” Dave Ferguson, co-founder of Nuro, told The Verge. “We’re trying to strike the right balance so we can give you a sense of what the service will be like when there are no people.” He added, “Not to seem like there’s an able-bodied person not helping you with your groceries.”

This is to prepare us for when Nuro deploys its driverless R1 vehicles for delivery runs. First unveiled in January when the company came out of stealth, the R1 is thinner and shorter than normal vehicles, but larger than some of the delivery robots that we’ve seen in beta testing so far. The R1, which is not its final name, looks like a toaster on wheels, or an oversized, intelligent lunchbox covered in cameras, radar, and laser sensors....MORE