‘A first in France’: Carrefour trials autonomous delivery service at up to 70 km/h

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

One of the world’s largest supermarket chains, French retailer Carrefour, is extending its current delivery rounds via a trial with autonomous transportation start-up Goggo Network. Image source: Carrefour
One of the world’s largest supermarket chains, French retailer Carrefour, is extending its current delivery rounds via a trial with autonomous transportation start-up Goggo Network. Image source: Carrefour

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France supermarket retailer Carrefour is partnering with last-mile delivery start-up Goggo to trial a Mobile Drive service south of Paris.

One of the world’s largest supermarket chains, French retailer Carrefour, is extending its current delivery rounds via a trial with autonomous transportation start-up Goggo Network.

“By joining forces with an innovative start-up company, we are showing just how dynamic the Carrefour Group is when it comes to developing the logistics and retail services of the future,” ​said Elodie Perthuisot, the Carrefour Group’s executive director of E-Commerce, Data and Digital Transformation.

A ‘driverless revolution’

Goggo Network was founded in 2018 with the aim of solving the ‘transportation challenges of today’ by leading the ‘driverless revolution’. The company offers autonomous, electric, and shared mobility solutions through the creation of Autonomous Mobility Networks.

In what Carrefour has described as ‘a first in France’, the retailer has tied-up with Goggo to trial autonomous delivery of Carrefour Drive orders for residents on the Plateau de Saclay – otherwise called Silicon Valley Européen – located 20km south of Paris. This will serve students at the Paris Institute Polytechnique, and others located a ‘long way’ from retail areas.

According to Carrefour, the trial will make it possible to extend current delivery rounds. Not only will the remaining five miles be brought ‘within easier reach’, but the times and costs of transports rounds will be ‘optimised’.

“As a digital retail company, we want to leverage digital technologies and innovation to design and test new services for our customers – services which increasingly meet their expectations, such as this one for students and employees on the plateau de Saclay,” ​said Perthuisot.

How does it work?

Customers living in the Plateau de Saclay area can now submit their order via Carrefour Drive and select an available delivery slot. At the Plessis-Pâté warehouse, their order is put together and dispatched to the Carrefour Massy Drive, before being loaded onto the shuttle.

Customers receive a code via SMS, and once the shuttle has travelled autonomously to the Plateau de Saclay, they can use it to unlock their locker and retrieve their shopping. Once all orders have been delivered, the shuttle returns to Massy until the start of its next delivery round.

The autonomous shuttle makes a 15km rotation on public roads, both in heavy traffic and in normal conditions. The shuttle can go as fast as 70 km/hr. Based on customer feedback, changes may be made to the autonomous shuttle’s itinerary.

The collaboration is in line with the 5G Open Road programme, considered one of the largest open-road vehicle driving assistance programmes in Europe.

“We will do everything possible so that this initial test on the 5G Open Road results in our collectively deploying these types of services nationally, or even internationally,” ​said Yasmine Fage, co-founder of Goggo Network.

“This strategic partnership with a leading mass merchandising partner is completely in line with Goggo Network’s desire to design the automated logistics solution for the future.”

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