Walmart expands its tests by tapping Udelv for latest driverless car to deliver groceries

The series of tests by Walmart is expanding in regards to driverless cars as a means to get online grocery orders to the homes of customers more quickly.

The big-box retailer is set to pilot a program that will use Udelv autonomous-driving vans to deliver fresh groceries in Surprise, Arizona.

Tom Ward, a senior vice president in charge of Walmart's digital US operations told the public via a blog post that they want to make sure they stay on the cutting edge of grocery delivery by exploring what’s new and next.

Previously, Walmart announced other pilot programs with self-driving car companies, which includes Ford and Alphabet’s Waymo. The company further made plans to end its fiscal year with an online grocery delivery option in roughly 100 metropolitan areas, which would reach more than 40 percent of U.S. households—and this 2019, it plans to add that to other 800 stores.

Also, and according to Brick Meets Click, companies that offer delivery and pick-up options for grocery orders should see even bigger growth, and those online retailers’ sales could grow by 25 to 30 percent in 2019. This in turn would cause about 90% of US households to have access to at least one delivery or pick-up service for their groceries. Kroger, Whole Foods (via Amazon) and Albertsons are also involved in this experiment .

Walmart launched a campaign earlier this week and it aired during the Golden Globes and showed famous cars — like the famous Scooby Doo mystery machine — that pulled up to Walmart stores and used its online grocery pickup service that is also currently available nationally.

Additionally, the head of Walmart’s e-commerce in the U.S., Marc Lore, recently said that the retailer was focused on taking food delivery to the next level, in addition to their driverless car tests. He further talked about a day when food will be delivered to shoppers’ refrigerators.