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Slurpee by robot: Nuro to make autonomous deliveries for 7-Eleven

Service will launch in Mountain View, California, and focus initially on autonomous cars

Robotic delivery firm Nuro will begin making autonomous deliveries for 7-Eleven in Mountain View, California. (Photo: Nuro)

Most Americans at this point have seen the commercials of the Nuro robots delivering Domino’s pizza to customers in Houston. The robotic delivery company is also making deliveries for FedEx (NYSE: FDX) in the Houston area, and now residents in California will be able to test out the service.

Nuro on Wednesday announced that it is beginning robotic delivery of 7-Eleven orders in Mountain View, California.

“7-Eleven has owned and defined convenience since 1927,” said Raghu Mahadevan, 7-Eleven chief digital officer. “Our first foray into autonomous delivery was in 2016 when 7-Eleven became the first retailer in the U.S. to make a drone delivery to a customer’s house. Since then, we haven’t stopped looking for ways to redefine convenience for our customers inside and outside the four walls of our stores.”

Deliveries in California will begin with Nuro’s larger autonomous Prius vehicles and eventually transition to the smaller R2 robots.

“Residents in the state of California — a major hub of innovation — have never been able to experience the commercial delivery of goods by an autonomous vehicle. Nuro is teaming up with 7-Eleven to change that,” said Jiajun Zhu, Nuro CEO and co-founder. “We’ve always wanted to bring Nuro’s autonomous delivery to our local community and to our neighbors. We couldn’t be more excited to do this with an iconic neighborhood store like 7-Eleven in our hometown, Mountain View.”

Read: Google backs AV-maker Nuro in latest $600M funding round

Read: Nuro, Domino’s team up for autonomous pizza delivery

7-Eleven customers in Mountain View can use the 7NOW delivery app to order items. Autonomous deliveries are available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT and will arrive within 30 minutes, the companies said.

Nuro also said it was announcing a partnership with De Anza College in Cupertino, California, to create a career pathway for fleet technicians to maintain electric and autonomous vehicles. It is the first step in Nuro’s Autonomous Upskilling initiative, which is designed to work with community colleges to create education and training opportunities for workers.

Earlier this month, Nuro announced the closing of a $600 million Series D funding round, led by Tiger Global Management and including participation from Google and grocery retailer Kroger. In total, Nuro has raised over $2 billion for a valuation of about $8.6 billion, according to TechCrunch. The robo-delivery company’s previous funding round brought in $500 million from T. Rowe Price Associates, Fidelity Management and Research Co. LLC (NYSE: FIS), and Chipotle (NYSE: CMG), among others.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]