Kroger and robotics company Nuro said yesterday that they will expand their autonomous vehicle delivery test to two stores in Houston, Texas, after having started a test last August in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Together through the pilot,” the companies said, “Kroger and Nuro have successfully and safely completed thousands of deliveries to customers in Scottsdale. With the upcoming launch, Kroger and Nuro will transfer the autonomous grocery delivery program to Houston for the next phase of the pilot.”

They said that as in Scottsdale, “Kroger and Nuro will begin the service with Nuro's self-driving Toyota Prius fleet and will introduce the next generation of the custom driverless vehicle later this year.”

“Our Arizona pilot program confirmed the flexibility and benefits provided by autonomous vehicles and how much customers are open to more innovative solutions,” Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer, said in a prepared statement. “It’s always been our shared vision to scale this initiative to new markets, using world-changing technology to enable a new type of delivery service for our customers.”

KC's View: We’re going to see a lot of this in markets where such experimentation makes sense and where the infrastructure makes it practical. It is incumbent on companies like Kroger to be hip-deep in such experiments, seeing what works and what doesn’t and demonstrating a willingness to try new things.