Wayve teams up with Asda for self-driving grocery delivery trial
Asda customers can now have their groceries delivered by a self-driving vehicle thanks to a new partnership with Wayve, the London-based company pioneering autonomous vehicles in which the Virgin Group has invested.
The year-long trial – the UK’s largest autonomous grocery home shopping delivery trial – will give the supermarket the ability to autonomously deliver groceries to 72,000 households in London.
The Wayve self-driving vehicles will join Asda’s existing online delivery operation at the Park Royal superstore in West London and have the capability to drive themselves to customers’ homes. Customers will place their next-day delivery orders online as usual, choosing from the full range of online products and selecting a delivery window that suits them. The only difference is that they could be randomly selected to have their order delivered in a self-driving vehicle.
Simon Gregg, Vice President of eCommerce at Asda, 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.”
During the trial, both an Asda colleague and supervising Wayve safety driver will be in the vehicle when making deliveries. Asda colleagues will load and unload the groceries, but they will be transported from the store in a self-driving vehicle.
Asda is the UK’s second largest online supermarket and delivers more than 800,000 orders each week. 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. This trial enables seamless integration of Wayve’s automated driving technology into Asda’s daily operations.
Wayve’s AV2.0 solution uses machine learning to train its AI software to learn from experience how to drive in any environment. This results in autonomous vehicle technology that is not geo-fenced by maps or pre-defined routes and can autonomously drive anywhere in its urban domain – even to places it’s never been before. The system is designed to constantly monitor the road, identifying potential hazards and making the safest decisions possible.
Alex Kendall, Co-founder & CEO at Wayve said: “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.”
Holly Branson, Virgin Chief Purpose and Vision Officer, sat down with Alex Kendall to talk about the future of mobility, workplace culture, the importance of purpose, and building trust in people when it comes to new technology.
Visit Wayve to learn more about how it is developing autonomous vehicles.