Ocado Group has announced a partnership and £10 million investment in Wayve to accelerate the development of autonomous grocery deliveries for complex urban environments.
Wayve offers advanced deep learning and its camera-first technology has the ability to adapt to new, unstructured, highly complex environments, without the need for pre-programming, human-designed rules, or high-definition mapping.
The collaboration includes an autonomous delivery trial that will see Wayve’s technology fitted onto a selection of Ocado delivery vans and trialled on urban delivery routes for 12 months.
The trial will help Ocado understand how Wayve can handle the congested streets and challenging manoeuvres that last-mile delivery technology requires. Part of Ocado’s existing delivery fleet will also be fitted with Wayve’s data collection devices to provide data for training and validating Wayve’s technology.
Alex Harvey, chief of advanced technology, Ocado Group, said: “Ocado is on a journey to develop highly intelligent autonomous mobility systems to further transform the operational economics, and proposition, of the Ocado Smart Platform for our OSP retail partners. We’ve been impressed with Wayve’s approach to solving this most complex of challenges and are excited to accelerate our capabilities so that our retail partners globally can take advantage of them at the earliest opportunity.”
Alex Kendall, CEO of Wayve says: “Globally, there is huge momentum to transform mobility in grocery operations right now. We are focused on delivering an autonomous last mile solution to support the needs of grocery retailers everywhere. Through this partnership with Ocado Group, we aim to unlock autonomous delivery faster in more places worldwide.”
Wayve also announced a partnership with grocer Asda last month with the trial beginning early next year and running under the supervision of a Wayve Safety Driver throughout the 12-month trial.