CVS will test using self-driving cars to deliver prescriptions

The chain will partner with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro on the delivery of medicines and other products

CVS Health will try delivering prescriptions with self-driving vehicles in a test that begins next month.

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The drugstore chain said Thursday that it will partner with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro on the delivery of medicines and other products to customers near a Houston-area store.

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A CVS spokesman said the prescriptions will routinely be delivered within an hour of being ordered. Customers will have to confirm their identity in order to unlock their delivery after the Nuro vehicle arrives.

Nuro has previously started partnerships to test the delivery of pizzas for Domino’s or groceries for Kroger, also in the Houston area. And drugstores like Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health Corp. and competitor Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. have been expanding home delivery services for a few years now.

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But using unmanned vehicles to deliver potentially sensitive prescriptions is uncharted territory. Some hospitals in North Carolina have been testing drone delivery of medical samples and supplies.

CVS and UPS announced in late April that they will start delivering prescriptions by drone to a big retirement community in Florida.