Autonomous food delivery piloted in San Francisco

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
An autonomous driving control pod is added to a Cruise vehicle.

SAN FRANCISCO – Cruise and DoorDash are partnering to pilot food and grocery delivery by Cruise’s autonomous vehicles through the DoorDash platform. The testing program will begin in early 2019 with an initial focus on the San Francisco market.

“Delivery is a significant opportunity for Cruise as we prepare to commercialize our autonomous vehicle technology and transform transportation,” said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann.

“Partnering with DoorDash will provide us with critical learning as we further our mission to deliver technology that makes people’s lives better and more convenient.”

DoorDash will use Cruise autonomous vehicles to test and improve the efficiency of getting food and groceries from DoorDash’s merchants to its customers’ doors. As part of the program, select DoorDash customers will receive deliveries from their favorite restaurants via a Cruise autonomous vehicle.

In addition to ready-made restaurant meals, the partnership will also explore grocery fulfillment via Cruise vehicles for select grocers already partnered with DoorDash. The two companies expect to evaluate and develop safety and operational findings in the pilot.

“We are excited to partner with Cruise to develop our expertise in the autonomous vehicle delivery space,” said Tony Xu, CEO of DoorDash.

“We see autonomous vehicles playing a major role in the future of delivery as consumer behaviors continue to shift online, and we are confident Cruise’s leading technology will help us scale to meet growing consumer demand.”

Cruise Automation was founded in 2013 by Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan, with a shared a vision to transform mobility through the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicle technology. In 2016, Cruise partnered with General Motors to help scale this vision as the company deployed its first test fleet of self-driving cars.

Since then, Cruise has continued to develop its pioneering technology, while receiving additional backing from SoftBank and Honda Motor Company. With fleets on the road in California, Arizona and Michigan, Cruise is on the way to making commercialized self-driving cars a reality.

DoorDash connects customers with their favorite local and national businesses in 3,000 cities across the United States and Canada. Founded in the summer of 2013, it offers on-demand delivery, data-driven insights, and better in-store efficiency.