Instacart’s reported plan to automate its workforce seems a lot like bluster

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Instacart has big plans to automate parts of its grocery delivery business, reports Bloomberg, but the company’s schemes look as much like bluster as ambition.

Bloomberg details a plan for the gig-work grocery-delivery network to build “automated fulfillment centers around the US, where hundreds of robots would fetch boxes of cereal and cans of soup while humans gather produce and deli products.” Some centers would be built next to grocery stores while others would be “standalone” operations. Instacart would partner with a supermarket chain to handle inventory, contract out the automation side of things to a robotics firm, and take care of processing orders and deliveries itself. If it works, the system would automate out huge portions…

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