SAN ANTONIO — Texas grocery giant H-E-B has announced news that it will roll out a pilot program to test delivery service from a vehicle with self-driving technology.
As part of this pilot program, the retailer will test the autonomous vehicle technology in San Antonio later this year.
This is one of many innovative technologies the retailer will use to enhance its digital offerings in Texas. Hopes are that the company will better meet the evolving needs and expectations of its customers.
H-E-B will employ an autonomous van with driverless technology, which will serve customers near its Olmos Park H-E-B, just north of downtown San Antonio.
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 H-E-B's business.
“Our success starts with our people, who provide exceptional hospitality and drive us to open more engaging stores that offer a world-class shopping experience,” said Craig Boyan, H-E-B President. “We’re committed to winning through people and hiring more people, and we’re adding necessary skills to become both a better tech company and even stronger brick-and-mortar retailer.”
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.
“Companies like H-E-B are taking the first steps to explore the benefits autonomous deliveries can bring to their customers and employees,” said Daniel Laury, CEO of Udelv. “As the most loved retailer in Texas, H-E-B is an amazing partner for Udelv as we scale our AutodelivTM service and work to make deliveries faster and safer. We look forward to serving the people of Texas with Newton, our second-generation ADV.”
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.