Cruise is partnering with DoorDash to pilot food and grocery delivery in San Francisco using self-driving vehicles.
The companies announced Thursday that the testing program will begin in early 2019 with an initial focus on the San Francisco market.
“Delivery is a significant opportunity for Cruise as we prepare to commercialize our autonomous vehicle technology and transform transportation,” said Dan Ammann, who became CEO of Cruise late last year. “Partnering with DoorDash will provide us with critical learnings as we further our mission to deliver technology that makes people’s lives better and more convenient.” Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt stepped down as CEO and now holds the CTO position at the company.
The program will be available to select DoorDash customers, who will be able to receive deliveries from restaurants via a Cruise autonomous vehicle. The partnership will also explore grocery fulfillment via Cruise vehicles for select grocers already partnered with DoorDash.
“We see autonomous vehicles playing a major role in the future of delivery as consumer behaviors continue to shift online, and we are confident Cruise’s leading technology will help us scale to meet growing consumer demand,” DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said in a statement.
The pilot program adds an interesting twist to Cruise’s plans to launch a self-driving ride-hailing service in 2019. The partnership with DoorDash could be viewed as a way for Cruise to perfect its tech and how it can be used in different ways, particularly how it interacts with people.