Save Mart Initiates Robot Grocery Delivery

The Save Mart Cos. has partnered with Starship Technologies to launch an on-demand grocery robot delivery service at the supermarket operator’s flagship store in Modesto, CA .

The robots, motorized carts each capable of carrying up to 20 pounds of groceries or the equivalent of about three shopping bags, can travel up to four miles roundtrip, and provide a safe, low-cost and contactless delivery alternative for Save Mart shoppers, the retailer maintained. The service gives customers the option of ordering from thousands of items via the Starship app platform for on-demand delivery straight to their home.

Save Mart is the first grocer in the United States to partner with Starship Technologies, it stated. Based in San Francisco, Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world, and its robots have completed over 500,000 autonomous deliveries while crossing more than five million streets, Save Mart pointed out.

The robots move at pedestrian speed and use sophisticated machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors to travel on sidewalks and navigate around obstacles, Save Mart noted. Computer vision-based navigation helps the robots to map their environment to the inch. They can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in rain and snow. A team of humans can monitor their progress remotely and can take control at any time, the retailer added.

“We continually seek new ways to serve our communities and offer solutions for efficient, safe and healthy grocery shopping,” Robert Cady, Save Mart senior director/marketing strategy and analytics. “Through our partnership with Starship Technologies, Save Mart is pleased once again to lead the way in customer service and innovation.”

Ryan Tuohy, svp/business development at Starship Technologies, added, “With the onset of the pandemic, our service became increasingly important to thousands of residents in communities across the U.S. Save Mart is a loved brand that has deep ties to its local communities, which is why we’re especially excited about this partnership. Working together with The Save Mart Cos., we are able to provide a safe, convenient and well-priced delivery option for tens of thousands of residents.”

Save Mart operates 206 namesake stores in California and Northern Nevada. It also operates Lucky, Lucky California, FoodMaxx and Maxx Value Foods stores.