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Asda launch UK’s largest self-driving grocery home delivery trial

There is every possibility that ASDA customers in the vicinity of the Park Royal store in London may now open their door to find their weekly shop has been delivered by a self-driving car. 

The year long trial uses Wayve self-driving vehicles, which use machine learning to train its AI software to learn from experience how to drive in any environment. As such they are not constrained by maps or pre-defined routes, enabling Asda to reach any of the 72,000 houses in its catchment area from the first day of the trial.

During the trial, a supervising Wayve safety driver and an Asda member of staff will be in the vehicle when it makes deliveries, so someone will still be there to unload deliveries on arrival. 

The launch follows a two-year partnership between Asda and Wayve that formed with the aim of leading the way on developing a self-driving vehicle solution for the grocery market.

Importantly, Asda have not had to make any changes to the way orders are taken and processed at the store. The trial integrates into Asda’s systems seamlessly, to the extent that orders to be delivered by the driverless vehicle are selected entirely at random.

This autonomous grocery delivery trial is the latest development in Asda and Wayve’s partnership which began in 2021. While the Park Royal store is the first to benefit from this technology, Wayve will be able to offer autonomous delivery in further Asda locations should the trial be extended to other areas.

Simon Gregg, Senior Vice President of eCommerce at Asda, said: ‘Asda has long understood the value of bringing tech innovation to the online grocery sector and we are always looking at new and innovative partnerships to improve delivery options for customers. We believe autonomous technology is an exciting opportunity to shape the future of delivery, not only at our Park Royal store but throughout our nationwide operation.

‘Through our partnership with Wayve, we are trialling this technology to understand how it can assist our busy store operations, whilst also adding a unique, reliable and efficient option for Asda customers to have a whole range of products delivered to their doors.’

Alex Kendall, Co-founder & CEO at Wayve said: ‘We’re excited to partner with Asda on the largest urban autonomous grocery delivery trial in Europe. The trial is a demonstration of how autonomy can meet fleet owner needs. We started developing our AV technology over five years ago: it’s incredible to see it delivering real value today as part of Asda’s daily operations.

‘We value our work with Asda to build the foundations of future autonomous grocery delivery. Trials like this one accelerate our road to deployment. They provide the learnings required to bring the benefits of AV technology to customers sooner while ensuring that businesses, like Asda, are prepared to deploy AVs at scale.’

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