It’s no longer science fiction folks! 7-Eleven has now made delivery by autonomous vehicles a reality.
Customers in Mountain View, California can now use 7-Eleven’s app to order and have it delivered by driverless vehicles.
The company has partnered with Nuro, who prides itself in driving innovation forward with autonomous vehicle delivery. It’s also headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Now, customers simply have to run outside of their homes and meet the car when it arrives with their order.
Deliveries can be made from 8 AM – 9 PM. And they take approximately 30 minutes to arrive.
How’s that for convenience?
What Does This Mean for C-Stores?
Since its founding in 1927, 7-Eleven has put convenience at its forefront. So clearly, driverless delivery fits squarely within its core strategy.
More interestingly, how will this affect the c-store industry as a whole?
It’ll probably be quite some time before this really gains strong traction throughout the United States.
That’s because Nuro is a relatively small company in the autonomous vehicle space.
And it’s the first one to win a special exemption from certain federal safety requirements.
While a robot does the driving, Nuro vehicles also come with a human safety driver. But, the next phase of their plan involves moving exclusively to robots.
Nuro also has competitors in Waymo and Cruise. And since there’s a lot of money to be won in the coming years, it’s likely these companies will compete intensely to win c-store’s business.
In other words, driverless c-store delivery should become widely accessible in the near future.
So, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about 7-Eleven taking over the entire c-store industry.
What Should You Do?
At this point, driverless vehicles are still in their infancy.
For now, all you can really do is wait and develop your own strategy so you’re prepared when this technology becomes widely available.
It seems as though it’s an obvious next step for c-stores.
But it will take time to iron out wrinkles in the technology and get reasonable regulation in place to make this possible on a wide scale.
In the meantime, it certainly is a fascinating time to be alive and in the c-store business, isn’t it?
How cool will it be for you and your customers when it’s commonplace to make your order and have it arrive 20 minutes later any time of day?
And, you won’t need to give the driver a tip!
Time will only tell how this plays out. But definitely keep this in the forefront of your mind as you move forward with your strategic decisions.