Kroger begins the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for delivery in Arizona

FILE PHOTO: NuroÕs R1 unmanned delivery of seen filled with bags of KrogerÕs FryÕs Food Stores, which will begin with a test of the vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, this autumn, in this undated photo 15 August 2018. ÊCourtesy of Kroger/handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) – the U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co (KR.N) said on Tuesday began using unmanned autonomous vehicles to deliver messages to Scottsdale, Arizona in cooperation with Silicon Valley Nuro.

The delivery of the service follows a pilot program launched by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro ‘ s R1, a custom unmanned vehicle.

The R1 makes use of the public road and has no driver and is only used for the transport of goods.

Kroger, a deal with Nuro underlines the stiff competition in the US grocery delivery market with supermarket chains angling for a bigger share of consumer spending.

Peers Walmart Inc (WMT.N) and Inc. (AMZN.O) have also invested a lot in their delivery operations by expanding their offerings and a shortening of the delivery times.

Walmart, Ford Motor Co (F. N) and delivery service Postmates Inc said last month that they would cooperate in the supply of groceries and other goods to Walmart customers and it may be on a day use of autonomous vehicles.

Kroger said the service would be available in Scottsdale in the unit Fry’s Food Stores for $5.95 with no minimum order amount for same-day or next-day deliveries.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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