Humans still heft groceries on-demand, for now

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In this Aug. 29, 2018 photo, a Lincoln MKZ outfitted with AutoX's self-driving sensors sits in the parking lot of the company's headquarters in San Jose, Calif. The company is partnering with grocery delivery startup GrubMarket in a pilot test to deliver groceries to shoppers near the company's headquarters. (AP Photo/Ryan Nakashima)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A self-driving car that delivers your groceries seems like a great idea: a robot vehicle that uses artificial intelligence to replicate the service of yesteryear’s milkman and grocery store delivery kid.

There are companies now working on the technology to make it a reality. But they still haven’t managed to get the robots to do all the work.

There’s a human schlepping your food every step of the way. There’s even one behind the wheel.

Tests of the technology in places like Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Jose, California, still feature human safety drivers who have to take over if the robotic one gets confused. So from picking and packing the groceries, to loading them in the car, to having the shopper come to the curb to unload them, people are still involved at every turn.

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