Walmart shows commitment to self-driving vehicles with Cruise investment

Date : 15 April 2021

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Walmart has participated in the latest funding round for Cruise, a self-driving, electric vehicle startup.

Builds on existing relationship

Walmart initially partnered with Cruise last year to develop a delivery pilot in Scottsdale, Arizona. This area been a major focus for the retailer, undertaking several different pilots over recent years. These include programmes with Nuro in Houston, Gatik in Bentonville and Udelv, also in Arizona. Previously it has also worked with Ford and Waymo, Google’s self-driving project.

Source: Walmart

Making self-driving vehicles a reality

Walmart’s investment in Cruise supports its efforts in developing a low-cost last-mile delivery ecosystem. It demonstrates its commitment to bring the benefit of self-driving vehicles to its customers and business. It joins GM, Honda and Microsoft as existing partners and investors. The latest $2.75bn funding round values the company at over $30bn.

Tackling ecommerce profitability

The accelerated growth of grocery ecommerce in 2020, has sharpened retailer’s efforts on improving channel profitability. In addition to initiatives centred on the last-mile, retailers are also optimising fulfilment, developing marketplaces, and building new revenue streams to support this. Our latest report, Five ways US online grocery is transforming, unpacks these ideas in more detail.

Supports sustainability goals

Cruise is relatively unique in that it is the only self-driving car company to operate an entire fleet of all-electric vehicles powered with 100% renewable energy. This aligns with Walmart’s goal targeting zero emissions by in its own operations by 2040, and to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2035.

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