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AutoX will soon test its autonomous grocery delivery program in California

Bruce Brown

AutoX autonomous driving company announced it will launch a pilot program for retail grocery home delivery service in San Jose, California, this fall.

The startup venture’s feature set reads like a tech menu. AutoX combines robotics, artificial intelligence, geo-fencing, and 3D computer vision-enabled level four (L4) self-driving technology for curbside delivery of locally sourced fresh produce and other healthy foods.

The pilot will also test a mobile store concept with a shelf of pre-selected healthy food accessible through a window that opens on arrival.

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AutoX is partnering with GrubMarket to provide the groceries. GrubMarket delivers healthy food to homes and offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, sourcing produce, meats, fish, and other healthy foods.

AutoX customers will browse and order food items from a mobile app for delivery by a vehicle with temperature-controlled storage compartments. Kroger’s home delivery service will also test robotic grocery vehicles this fall.

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“We are enabling two shopping experiences with self-driving cars,” AutoX Chief Operating Officer Jewel Li said in a statement. “You can order goods from an app and get them delivered by a self-driving vehicle. Or, our self-driving car brings a shelf of goods to you, and you can select and purchase onsite in front of your house.”

The AutoX autonomous driving system employs multiple inexpensive high-resolution cameras for three-dimensional vision. According to AutoX, its 3D sensing setup is much less costly than lidar-based self-driving setups but can see farther ahead while also detecting small objects such as kids and pets in or around roadways.

AutoX CEO Jianxiong Xiao didn’t just hook up seven cameras to create the lime green self-driving Lincoln, according to Wired. Xiao, who has a Ph.D. from the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, previously ran Princeton University’s Computer Vision and Robotics lab. The vehicle navigates via Intel and Nvidia graphical processing chips and AutoX’s A.I. algorithms to make sense of the multiple video feeds.

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“It’s the first step of our mission to democratize autonomy and is a testament to our cutting-edge A.I. and all its potential capabilities,” Xiao said. “We believe self-driving car technologies will fundamentally change people’s daily lives for the better.”

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The AutoX fresh produce and healthy food home delivery and mobile shopping service pilot program will begin in San Jose. The next step will be to introduce the service in Mountain View and Palo Alto.