What just happened? FedEx has signed a multi-year, multi-phase agreement with robotics maker Nuro to test the firm’s autonomous delivery vehicle. The two actually started working together earlier this year with the launch of a pilot program in the Houston area.

FedEx said the exponential growth of e-commerce has accelerated the demand for reliable, autonomous solutions across all stages of the supply chain. By continuing to innovate and automate, FedEx believes it will be able to boost efficiency and productivity while improving safety for its more than 57,000 team members.

The test marked Nuro’s first expansion into the parcel logistics business, but it’s not FedEx’s first experience with autonomous delivery bots. Back in 2019, the logistics company announced it was testing an autonomous delivery robot called SameDay Bot at its headquarters in Memphis, TN.

Nuro has been quite busy as well.

In mid-2018, the company teamed up with Kroger to pilot a self-driving grocery delivery service in Arizona. For a flat fee of $5.95, users could elect to have their grocery order delivered on the same day or the next day. A year later, Nuro linked up with Domino’s to create a self-driving pizza delivery vehicle and in 2020, partnered with CVS to test autonomous prescription deliveries.

Do you have any personal experience with a Nuro autonomous delivery vehicle? If so, how did it go? Was it truly useful or did it feel like more of a gimmick?