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H-E-B to test self-driving delivery in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — San Antonio-based grocer H-E-B announced Wednesday it will be launching a pilot program to test a delivery service utilizing self-driving technology.

The company will be using a single autonomous van to serve customers near its Olmos Park H-E-B.

H-E-B said this pilot program is just one of many ways the San Antonio company is using innovative technologies to enhance its offerings to Texas shoppers.

“Our success starts with our people, who provide exceptional hospitality and drive us to open more engaging stores that offer a world-class shopping experience,” said Craig Boyan, H-E-B President. “We’re committed to winning through people and hiring more people, and we’re adding necessary skills to become both a better tech company and even stronger brick-and-mortar retailer.”

H-E-B is using an autonomous delivery vehicle from California-based Udelv.  The van will have climate-controlled compartments that can handle a variety of food types and can travel on surface streets and highways.

“Companies like H-E-B are taking the first steps to explore the benefits autonomous deliveries can bring to their customers and employees,” said Daniel Laury, CEO of Udelv. “As the most loved retailer in Texas, H-E-B is an amazing partner for Udelv as we scale our AutodelivTM service and work to make deliveries faster and safer. We look forward to serving the people of Texas with Newton, our second-generation ADV.”

“At H-E-B, we continue to evaluate and utilize innovative technologies in all parts of our business,” said Paul Tepfenhart, Senior Vice President of Omnichannel and Emerging Technologies at Central Market and H-E-B. “As a leading digital-retail leader in Texas, we will continue to grow our Partner population as well as technology presence to complement our store operations, enabling customers to choose how they shop, pay for and receive products.”

The program will begin later this year, though a specific launch date was not immediately available.

Along with autonomous delivery, H-E-B also owns Favor, an on-demand delivery service and currently offers H-E-B Curbside and H-E-B Home Delivery.

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