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Walmart taps Udelv to pilot autonomous deliveries in Arizona

Walmart Inc. is working with autonomous vehicle startup Udelv to test the delivery of groceries in Surprise, Ariz. through self-driving cargo vans, the company said in a Jan. 8 blog post.

Burlingame, Calif.-based Udelv offers last-mile delivery through autonomous cargo vans that have compartments connected to mobile apps for easy and secure access. The startup's clients include Draeger's Super Markets Inc., Freshop Inc., X Parts, Delivery Guys, Que SeRaw SeRaw and Backhaus.

The cargo vans included in the pilot will deliver fresh groceries, collected by personal shoppers, to customers.

The big-box retailer already has existing partnerships with U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co. and Alphabet Inc.'s self-driving technology company Waymo LLC to support its autonomous delivery initiatives.

Walmart rival Kroger Co. started trialing its self-driving grocery delivery service in the same state in August 2018, in partnership with self-driving startup Nuro Inc. The two expanded their partnership in December 2018.