Asda and Ocado could roll out driverless deliveries in London

Asda and Ocado could roll out self-driving deliveries in London after trialling the technology this year.

The retailers partnered with autonomous vehicle developer Wayve in 2021 to test whether they could launch a driverless delivery service in the capital.

Last October, Ocado announced it would use the technology - overseen by a human driver - as part of a 12-month trial involving a number of its delivery vans.

Asda also revealed that it would test the autonomous technology with deliveries in London, with the trials beginning earlier this year.

The 'Big Four' grocer was the first to commercially test the driverless tech.

Ocado has been active in making investments in the autonomous vehicle space, having also invested £10 million UK self-driving vehicle business Oxbotica in April 2021.

Ocado said the partnership will initially be UK-based but will be extended internationally to include its partnership with US grocery chain Kroger.

Kaity Fischer, director of partnerships and business development at Wayve told the the Evening Standard that self driving deliveries could be commonplace in the next 10 years.

“I think it’s sooner than most folks think,” she said at the newspaper's Plug It In summit, adding that humans are responsible for serious injury or death every 22 minutes in the UK.

Fischer explained that in comparison, driverless vehicles use camera tech and AI to help them on congest routes and support them in unexpected circumstances.

“Autonomous vehicles are never drowsy. They are never drunk,” she told the Evening Standard. “96 per cent of all accidents are based on human error.”

Retail Systems has approached Ocado and Asda for further comment.

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