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Ocado invests in autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica

Ocado news comes one day after rival buys stake in autonomous vehicle company

Ocado (LON:OCDO), the British online supermarket, confirmed on Friday that it is taking a £10 million stake in Oxbotica, a UK startup that develops autonomous driving systems.

The FTSE 100 company is making a strategic investment to develop AI-powered, self-driving vehicles that will operate its operations, including inside its warehouses.

The aim for the new technology is to reduce Ocado’s delivery costs in order to boost its customer’s value proposition through a shift to electrically powered cars.

Alex Harvey, Chief of Advanced Technology at Ocado, commented: 

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Oxbotica to develop a wide range of autonomous solutions that truly have the potential to transform both our and our partners’ CFC and service delivery operations, while also giving all end customers the widest range of options and flexibility.”

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In similar news, Walmart, the American supermarket giant took a stake in Cruise, another autonomous tech company, as part of a recent $2.75bn monster round. Walmart also owns Asda, one of Ocado’s major competitors in the UK.

Paul Newman, Co-Founder & CTO of Oxbotica, shared his excitement at the prospect of the partnership.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Oxbotica and Ocado to strengthen our partnership, sharing our vision for the future of autonomy. By combining both companies’ cutting-edge knowledge and resources, we hope to bring our Universal Autonomy vision to life and continue to solve some of the world’s most complex autonomy challenges.”

During the last lockdown there was a surge in demand for online retailers demand for food at home as Ocado confirmed in March that its sales surged by 39% in Q4 of the past financial year.

The size of an average order was recorded at £147 as families that remained in their homes purchased more goods. As a result, sales went up by two-fifths from the quarter the year before which was unaffected by the pandemic.

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