Meet Your New Self-Driving Chauffeur To Walmart

Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, an autonomous car company, could have just unlocked a rather displeasing future for the heavily indebted consumer, one where corporate America uses self-driving vehicles to herd the bottom 90 percent to brick and mortar retail stores.

In fact, this is now a reality, as Waymo and Walmart have launched a pilot program to ferry customers back and forth from home to Walmart’s store in Phoenix, Arizona, the company blog said on Wednesday.

Tom Ward, Vice President – Digital Operations of Walmart U.S., said, “We’re working with them on an online grocery pilot project – limited to a group within Waymo’s 400 daily users known as “early riders”– that will run out of one Walmart store in Chandler, Arizona.”

“Those in the pilot simply place an Online Grocery Pickup order at walmart.com/grocery. Our personal shoppers get to work meticulously picking customers’ orders based on their pickup times. Waymo does the rest! They transport customers to and from pickup, and all the while, those customers can text, nap, work… you name it!” explained Ward.

It is almost like herding cattle! Maybe this novel idea could save crumbling brick and mortar stores?

According to Reuters, Waymo also partnered with DDR Corp., a real estate investment trust that owns shopping centers, offering customers self-driving vehicles to and from the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Chandler, Arizona.

Additionally, the company will give patrons of AutoNation repair centers self-driving vehicles while their cars are being serviced, along with assisting customers at Avis Budget in Phoenix to pick up or drop off rental cars.

While technology has certainly made it easier for consumers to shop online [Amazon], Walmart and other competitors have been developing self-driving vehicles for home deliveries. However, the Waymo and Walmart partnership is an entirely new concept to lure customers away from Amazon and divert them to collapsing brick and mortar with autonomous vehicles. “These businesses are national and what we learn from these programs will give us a network of partners when we launch in new cities down the road,” the Walmart blog said.

Back in March, Waymo made a massive deal with Jaguar Land Rover for 20,000 self-driving all-electric I-Pace SUVs. A short time later, the company worked out an even larger deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for 62,000 Pacifica Hybrid minivans. The first prototype I-Pace self-driving Waymo is expected to be delivered by the end of 2018, and if the pilot run is a success, it could become part of Waymo’s commercial ride-hailing service starting in 2020.

Autonomous cars have gained much attention in 2018. Waymo vehicles have been involved in numerous crashes since the Phoenix-area pilot program launched in the first half of 2017, but law enforcement has determined all accidents were human-error. In March, a “software bug” in an autonomous Uber vehicle killed a 49-year-old woman in Tempe, Arizona.

WALL-E gives an accurate portrayal of what corporate America has in store for the heavily indebted bottom 90 percent. Instead of consumers being whisked around on floating chairs to retail stores on a futuristic spaceship, it seems as today’s equivalent technology are Waymo’s self-driving cars ferrying back and forth to consumers home.

Comments

Son of Loki Leakanthrophy Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:20 Permalink

Walmart better get on the ball because Amazon is eating their lunch royally.

Now Amazon outbid Walmart for PillPack which mails your Rx to you via online orders. Estimates predict Amazon will gradually control a whopping 25% of the prescription drug market!

Walmart acquisition of JET was a BAD move. JET comes no where close to the ease of buying online that Amazon allows you. Almost ALL analysts agree Walmart overpaid for JET.

Walmart reminds me of Sessons....sleeping at the wheel. They badly need new management. Walmart better take a look at what Amazon did to Borders.

 

In reply to by Leakanthrophy

Yen Cross Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:25 Permalink

  Why do I need to go to WMT if they have a personal shopper doing my order for me? The article says based on your pickup time shoppers put together your order for you to pick up.

  What's the difference between this and just having groceries delivered to your home? I know, they want to extract additional money out of you on top of what you pre ordered, or the article was poorly written.

  “Those in the pilot simply place an Online Grocery Pickup order at walmart.com/grocery. Our personal shoppers get to work meticulously picking customers’ orders based on their pickup times. Waymo does the rest! They transport customers to and from pickup, and all the while, those customers can text, nap, work… you name it!” explained Ward.

Volkodav Thu, 07/26/2018 - 23:58 Permalink

It is legal to have no licensed driver in control vehicle?

While human driver so many requirements?

Discriminate in favor machine?

Is there law for permit this?

Many questions. Who individual is personal liable when accident?

 

wolf pup Fri, 07/27/2018 - 00:02 Permalink

EVILGoogle’s pernicious papa Alphabet pushing their future of driverless cars on an unwilling public. 

For the Google of humanity, of course. 

Smedley Butler Jr Fri, 07/27/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

Haven't been in a walmart for years and recently closed my amazon account. I'd rather pay $1 more to the local store than give Jeff or the walton gang a penny.

Shop Local - Spend Local

Bureau of compliance Fri, 07/27/2018 - 00:39 Permalink

So ya go to wallmart and buy a snickers bar and a bottle of water and meet your meth guy. How does porky pull you over on the way home? Who gets the ticket? Can the car give Officer Pressure permission to search the car?

 

All this must be absolved or I just won't feel safe.

Pernicious Gol… Fri, 07/27/2018 - 01:48 Permalink

Just waiting for Waymo to announce their cars must be weapons-free zones. They are programmed to yield to avoid collisions. It will be easy for a few pirate cars to force one off the road and rob the occupant.

Captain Nemo d… Fri, 07/27/2018 - 07:07 Permalink

This is the promise of technology being fulfilled.  A chauffeured limo for everyone. Walmart is a start. Soon others can join in. And then your limo will take you from shop to shop for your shopping convenience.  Propsons are here. Jetsons will be coming soon ... when these cars start to fly.