The Silicon Valley startup, Tortoise, has now used its technology and adapted it to produce delivery carts. The company recently partnered with the online grocery platform ‘Self Point’, to provide neighborhood stores with electric carts so that with the help of remote operators they can deliver goods to local consumers.
Unlike the network models used by some autonomous sidewalk delivery companies, grocery stores lease the delivery carts and are responsible for storage, charging and packing it up with goods that their customers have ordered. The beginning of Self Point/Tortoise launch is small. But it has plans of expanding it far beyond Los Angeles.
Tortoise co-founder and president Dmitry Shevelenko has said “the company’s remote repositioning kit can be used for security and cleaning bots as well as electric wheelchairs and other accessibility devices”. “From a practical point of view we’re not trying to not be everywhere overnight, but there’s really no technological constraint for us”.
“We kind of quickly realized that we’re living in a once-in-a-generation change in consumer behavior where now everything is online and people are expecting it to be delivered same day,” he said. “We saw kind of a big opening in grocery. We’re doing for last-mile delivery what globalized call centers did for customer support.”