By Kristina Peters
Source:, September 2020

Contactless service debuts at retailer’s ‘innovation lab’ in Modesto, Calif.

The Save Mart Cos. is the first U.S. grocer to partner with Starship Technologies on the launch of a contactless, on-demand grocery delivery fleet of self-driving robots. The Starship fleet is currently available to customers at Save Mart’s flagship store in Modesto, Calif.

The robots can carry up to 20 pounds of groceries, or about three shopping bags, and travel up to 4 miles round-trip, giving Save Mart customer a safer alternative to shopping in-store. Customers can order from thousands of items via the Starship app for on-demand delivery to their homes.

Save Mart said the launch embraces its Modesto store’s role as an “innovation lab” and precedes the one-year anniversary of its opening in October 2019.

“We continually seek new ways to serve our communities and offer solutions for efficient, safe and healthy grocery shopping,” said Robert Cady, senior director of marketing strategy and analytics for Save Mart, in a release. “Through our partnership with Starship Technologies, Save Mart is pleased once again to lead the way in customer service and innovation.”

San Francisco-based Starship’s robots have completed more than 500,000 autonomous deliveries and crossed more than 5 million streets. The robots move at pedestrian speed and use sophisticated machine learning, artificial intelligence and sensors to travel on sidewalks and navigate around obstacles. They can cross streets, climb curbs, travel at night and operate in both rain and snow.

“With the onset of the pandemic, our service became increasingly important to thousands of residents in communities across the U.S.,” said Ryan Tuohy, SVP of business development for Starship. “Save Mart is a loved brand that has deep ties to its local communities, which is why we’re especially excited about this partnership. Working together with The Save Mart Cos., we are able to provide a safe, convenient and well-priced delivery option for tens of thousands of residents.”