General Motors Co.'s self-driving car unit GM Cruise LLC partnered with food delivery service platform DoorDash Inc. to test food and grocery deliveries using Cruise's autonomous vehicles.
According to a Jan. 3 announcement, DoorDash will use Cruise's self-driving cars to trial the efficiency of picking up food and groceries from DoorDash's merchants to customers' doors.
The companies said they expect to develop safety measures and operational improvements based on the results of the pilot.
DoorDash's existing partners include Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Wingstop Inc., Restaurant Brands International Inc.'s Burger King Brands Inc., 7-Eleven Inc., Starbucks Corp., YUM! Brands Inc.'s KFC and Subway. The startup delivers to more than 850 cities, according to its website.
The strategy mirrors similar initiatives by Ford Motor Co., which last year partnered with pizza restaurant chain Domino's Pizza Inc. and retail giant Walmart Inc. to test deliveries with logistics company Postmates Inc.
Meanwhile, The Kroger Co. in December 2018 teamed up with startup Nuro to deliver groceries through unmanned vehicles. PepsiCo Inc. also recently announced it is testing a robotic delivery service at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., in partnership with tech startup Robby Technologies Inc.
General Motors in 2016 bought Cruise, which also counts SoftBank Group Corp. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. as investors, to help the startup deploy its autonomous vehicle technology on a larger scale.