Plans for the service have been under way for more than a year. But it recently went live for some Google employees and their friends, according to two people briefed on the service who were not authorized to discuss it because Google has not yet publicly introduced it. At least one national apparel chain is involved, one of these people said. A Google spokesman, Nate Tyler, declined to comment.
Google is just one company tackling same-day delivery. So are Wal-Mart,Amazon.com, eBay and the United States Postal Service.
Though the service propels Google into commerce, the company does not intend to operate warehouses or a shipping service, but to team up with retailers and delivery companies. Several San Francisco retailers, including national chains, are participating in the program already. There is no word on whether Google will eventually send its self-driving cars to make deliveries.
We’ve been told this was coming, and we have some additional information on the program. Google does plan to use its self-driving cars in the program that is run inside the Google X incubator headed by cofounder Sergey Brin.
We also heard that Google has even wilder aspirations for the program, which we’ll be able to detail in the coming weeks.