Vroom Delivery has partnered with last-mile delivery robot operator Tortoise and Dallas convenience retailer Urban Value Corner Store to bring on-demand delivery of thousands of products to consumers’ doors in the coming months.
Products will include grocery staples such as milk and eggs, as well as beverages, ice cream, snacks and more, all delivered in under an hour. Alcohol and tobacco items will also be available for delivery from human drivers.
Each delivery robot is about the size of a large cooler and is remotely piloted, ensuring a human is always at the wheel. The robots operate on the sidewalks and drive at an average speed of around three miles per hour, allowing them to safely navigate around people, cars, pets and other obstacles. The cart can carry over 100 pounds of goods in sealed containers, which are remotely opened by the cart operator when it arrives at its destination.
The Vroom and Tortoise partnership allows for a contactless, zero-emission, and affordable home delivery option, mitigating sustainability and congestion challenges. The Tortoise Cart is 100% electric, removing the need for an internal combustion engine delivery vehicle and minimizing the traffic impact of e-commerce.
“We are thrilled to be working with Urban Value, a leading convenience store chain in downtown Dallas, on a pilot deployment in the coming months,” said Tortoise Co-Founder Dmitry Shevelenko.
Urban Value, which operates stores in and around the Dallas area, will initially be piloting the program from its downtown location. Upon the success of the initial pilot, it intends to continue to roll the program out across the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.
“We are very excited to pilot this first-in-market contactless shopping opportunity,” said Urban Value CEO Steve McKinley. “I expect that this technology combined with our diverse product offering will provide downtown Dallas residents and office staff a much more convenient shopping experience.”
John Nelson, CEO of Vroom Delivery, said that in addition to the obvious contactless and environmental benefits, the company likes the concept because it is also a very affordable solution for both the store and the consumer, significantly lowering the average cost of delivery.
Customers can already order delivery from Urban Value for home delivery through the Vroom platform, with robots taking up the last mile responsibilities within the coming months. Vroom Delivery and Tortoise are also making the offering available to other convenience store chains across the country.
Tortoise powers low-speed remote repositioning for light electric vehicles like delivery bots, shared scooters and cleaning robots. The company works with partners worldwide to provide the most cost-effective, zero emissions way to move anything from A to B at a low-speed.
Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Chicago, Vroom Delivery is a full-stack e-commerce solution for convenience stores, providing every technical aspect required for chains of convenience stores to operate and manage their own e-commerce and delivery services.