Just four days into the new year, and the future has arrived.
General Motors Co.'s (GM) - Get Report self-driving Cruise Automation unit announced it was teaming up with San Francisco-based food delivery service DoorDash to roll out an autonomous food-delivery service.
The pilot, which will begin in "early 2019" in a section of the city where Cruise already has been testing its autonomous-driving vehicles, will mean that customers will be able to order food and have it delivered to their door without seeing another person, the companies said in a joint statement.
"Delivery is a significant opportunity for Cruise as we prepare to commercialize our autonomous vehicle technology and transform transportation," said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, who formally assumed the role this week from Cruise founder Kyle Vogt. Vogt is now president and chief technology officer of Cruise.
"We are excited to partner with Cruise to develop our expertise in the autonomous vehicle delivery space," said Tony Xu, CEO of DoorDash. "We see autonomous vehicles playing a major role in the future of delivery as consumer behaviors continue to shift online."
DoorDash aims to use the Cruise driverless vehicles to test and improve the efficiency of getting food and groceries from its merchants to its customers' doors - or at least to their curbs. The companies said they will evaluate and develop safety and operational efficiencies during the pilot.