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AutoX launches first self-driving car grocery delivery and shopping



AutoX will use a modified
Lincoln MKZ vehicle in its grocery delivery


  • AutoX, a self-driving car startup testing in
    California, has launched the state’s first grocery delivery
    pilot program using autonomous cars in San Jose.
  • The program works both as a traditional delivery system
    and a store on wheels that drives to customers.
  • The grocery items are sourced from GrubMarket, which
    works directly with producers, eliminating the need for

AutoX wants to bring the grocery store to you.

self-driving car startup
, which got permission to test
self-driving cars in California in 2017, has unveiled its
ambition plans for its technology.

Instead of the crowded taxi-like use case, AutoX is instead
focusing on less precious cargo: groceries. Starting in August,
customers within a certain area of San Jose, California will be
able to download the AutoX app to get groceries delivered by an
autonomous self-driving car — a Lincoln MKZ fitted with
high-definition cameras and a temperature-controlled environment.

“We’re very excited to launch the first autonomous grocery
delivery and mobile store service in the heart of Silicon Valley
with self-driving vehicles on the road,” AutoX founder and CEO
Jianxiong Xiao said in a prepared statement announcing the new
service. “It’s the first step of our mission to democratize
autonomy and is a testament to our cutting edge AI and all its
potential capabilities. We believe self-driving car technologies
will fundamentally change people’s daily lives for the better.”

Customers have the option
of having a mobile shelf of items sent to them to purchase on the


Xiao, known as “Professor X,” holds a Ph.D from MIT in artificial
intelligence and computer science and was the founding
director of the Princeton Computer Vision and Robotics Labs,
where he served as an assistant professor, from 2013 to 2016.

He started AutoX in 2016 and got permission to test self-driving
cars in California in 2017. The grocery delivery pilot is the
first indication of what he plans to do with the technology,
which he describes as the “democratization of autonomy.” Xiao
describes it this way because AutoX’s self-driving apparatus uses
a less expensive high-resolution camera array rather than the
traditional LiDAR sensor that most other self-driving car
companies use. 

“Highest safety and lowest cost, this is where our key technology
lies,” Xiao said.

The service is launching with two options for shopping. Customers
can either select what items they want to be delivered and have
it sent, or request the car to come to them to make purchase
decisions on the spot. At launch, there will be no delivery fee,
but ultimately the company aims to have a fee as low as two or
three dollars.

The pilot is launching
this month.


The groceries are sourced from GrubMarket, which works directly
with producers, cutting out the need to work with any kind of
grocery store. AutoX will work with other partners to round out
its offerings.

AutoX’s self-driving permit requires a human in the car for
safety, but the car will be driving itself.

The service will start in San Jose, but expand west
to Mountain View, Palo Alto and other cities in the near

The self-driving grocery delivery battle is already heating up.

Earlier this month
, Kroger began its announced pilot with
Nuro to launch delivery pilot using self-driving cars in
Scottsdale, Arizona.

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