H-E-B to launch pilot program test delivery service using self-driving technology

H-E-B has announced that later this year it will launch a pilot program to test delivery service from a vehicle with self-driving technology.

The retailer will use one autonomous van with driverless technology, which will serve customers near its Olmos Park H-E-B, just north of downtown San Antonio. This is one of many innovative technologies the retailer will use to enhance its digital offerings in Texas and better meet the evolving needs and expectations of its customers.

For San Antonio-based H-E-B, the adoption of innovative technologies has helped increase convenience, reduce costs, streamline operational efficiencies, and create jobs. As the largest privately-held employer in Texas, people will continue to play a major role throughout the company’s business.

To test the self-driving technology, H-E-B will source one Autonomous Delivery Vehicle (ADV) from Udelv, a California-based company that creates ADVs. The ADV has climate-controlled compartments that can hold multiple orders of fresh, frozen and dry goods, and can travel at city street and highway speeds.

During the first phase of the pilot, the ADV will have a driver. If the initiative is expanded, the retailer will implement a multi-phased roll out to give the technology time to learn the safest, most efficient routes, which will eventually lead to the ADV becoming fully driverless.

For the pilot, which will initially involve one ADV, select customers can sign up to receive deliveries from the autonomous vehicle during the test period.

This trial is part of efforts to integrate more technology-based services into H-E-B’s digital lineup. Along with Favor, an on-demand delivery service, H-E-B continues to expand e-commerce offerings such as H-E-B Curbside and H-E-B Home Delivery, which are expected to be at over 200 locations by year’s end and employ more than 5,500 Partners companywide, and H-E-B Go, a mobile solution that allows people to scan and pay for their items with their phones.

Source: Press Release


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