General Motors and its Cruise self-driving car division announced a new partnership with popular food delivery service DoorDash that will employ autonomous vehicles to deliver food this March.
Both companies announced the new pilot program on Thursday days after former GM President Dan Ammann took over as CEO of Cruise.
"Partnering with DoorDash will provide us with critical learnings as we further our mission to deliver technology that makes people's lives better and more convenient," he said in a statement.
According to Automotive News (subscription required), DoorDash will execute the program via what it calls the "runner system." Merchants will load the self-driving car with a food order and the vehicle will drive to the customer. The program will begin in the San Francisco area.
GM Cruise announced no changes to its self-driving car model, which will likely mean a safety driver will be onboard during the delivery process. Customers will receive an alert as the self-driving car approaches the address.
Chevrolet Cruise AV self-driving car
GM has also promised it will commercialize its self-driving car technology this year, potentially with a ride-sharing service. However, details on such plans have been absent. Google's Waymo division was first to begin a paid ride-sharing service in Arizona last month, though it's limited to screened riders.
GM joins other companies that have dipped into self-driving car delivery services. Since last October, Ford has delivered pizzas in self-driving vehicles in Miami, and Kroger announced last year it will trial self-driving grocery delivery vehicles. Those tests began last fall and the service expanded in December.
Concept rendering for Cruise purpose-built self-driving car
GM's Cruise self-driving car unit is considered one of the top companies in the segment, rivaling Waymo. Others have recognized GM Cruise's potential with large investments. Last year, Japan's SoftBank and Honda invested billions of dollars, which will be paid out as the company reaches various milestones. Honda will also join GM to help develop a dedicated self-driving car with Cruise technology.