Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Walmart gets stake in driverless car firm

- — Serenah McKay

Walmart Inc. is among companies that recently invested $750 million in Cruise, a maker of allelectri­c driverless vehicles with which Walmart has joined in a pilot program.

Walmart is not disclosing the amount of its investment, a spokeswoma­n said. Cruise did not break out by company how much it received from Walmart and the other, unnamed institutio­nal investors.

The funding round announced Jan. 19 initially raised $2 billion, putting Cruise’s value at $30 billion, according to Crunchbase. Microsoft Corp. led that round, along with Cruise’s parent company General Motors, Honda and other investors.

The Bentonvill­e-based retailer has been testing Cruise’s cars for grocery delivery in Scottsdale, Ariz., since November.

John Furner, chief executive officer of Walmart U.S., said on the company’s website Thursday that Walmart’s tests with Cruise and other autonomous vehicles have convinced the retailer that “it’s no longer a question of if they’ll be scaled, but when.”

Walmart is testing driverless delivery with other companies, including Waymo, Udelv and Nuro. It’s also testing Gatik in Bentonvill­e.

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