on a roll
Tech startup rolls out driverless prescription drug delivery in Houston
The latest partnership from California-based Nuro, which has a fleet of driverless vehicles in Houston, means prescription drug delivery to certain parts of Houston.
Rhode Island-based CVS Pharmacy will offer the delivery option for prescriptions and essentials for free beginning in June for three ZIP codes near a CVS location in Bellaire (5430 Bissonnet St., Bellaire, TX 77401).
"We are seeing an increased demand for prescription delivery," says Ryan Rumbarger, senior vice president of store operations at CVS Health, in a release. "We want to give our customers more choice in how they can quickly access the medications they need when it's not convenient for them to visit one of our pharmacy locations."
The driverless delivery option will be made available through the CVS app, and recipients will have to prove their identity to retrieve their order.
Nuro has been expanding throughout the Houston market for over a year now — first entering the Houston market with its Kroger pilot program, but this partnership represents a whole new sector for the robotics company.
"Today, we are excited to expand into an entirely new vertical: health," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro's co-founder and president, in the release. "Through our partnership with CVS, we hope to make it easier for customers to get medicine, prescriptions, and the other things they need delivered directly to their homes."
Following Nuro's initial deal with Kroger, the company expanded to pizza delivery with Domino's Pizza before forming agreement with Walmart. Earlier this year, the company received approval from the United States Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that allowed Nuro's vehicles on public roads without the features of traditional, passenger-carrying vehicles — like side mirrors or windshields, for instance.
In January, InnovationMap spoke with Sola Lawal, Nuro product operations manager in Houston, and asked him about what types of partnerships Nuro is targeting.
"The way that we think about this is that this new technology and our mission of accelerating robotics for everyday life, is we will bring the people what they want," Lawal told InnovationMap.
And as far as continuing to expand in Houston, the city's diversity, varied roadscapes, and regulatory support makes it prime for robotics and self-driving technology.
"Houston is our first full-scale operations city," said Lawal. "All eyes at Nuro are focused on Houston."