Kroger launches self-driving cars to deliver groceries in Houston

The future is now when it comes to grocery shopping.

Kroger is delivering groceries to customers in Houston using self-driving cars. On Tuesday, the South Post Oak Road store became first location in Houston to operate the service.

The Buffalo Speedway location will launch the service later this spring.

Kroger and Nuro are bringing the autonomous grocery delivery service to the city. The service is starting with Nuro's manual and self-driving Toyota Prius fleet. 

“There's a lot of incredible technology built into this vehicle," says Dan Mitchell with Nuro. "We have sensors so the vehicle can see 360 degrees around it, not just with cameras but with radar and lidar as well. This vehicle will pull right up to your house. You'll open the back door and your groceries will be right inside.”

The launch on Tuesday is phase one of the rollout. During the initial launch, a person will be in the vehicle to monitor the system.

“As we continue to test and develop our software, specifically tailored for the Houston community, we will have people in the vehicle to monitor the self-driving system, but customers will need to come to the curb to collect their items," Dan says. "We hope that in later this year, we'll be launching the unmanned vehicle where there will be no one inside. It’s a custom built Nuro vehicle that we're really excited to share with the Houston community.”

Dan says the technology is designed to travel at a low speed and detect people in the local neighborhood to make sure the vehicles operate safely for everyone in the vicinity.

Customers in the delivery area can order their groceries online to utilize the service.