Cruise Self-Driving Cars Test Food Deliveries

General Motors Co.'s Cruise autonomous vehicle unit is teaming up with DoorDash Inc., a San Francisco-based food delivery service, to test self-driving cars.

Due to begin in March, the program will be available for select DoorDash customers in limited areas of San Francisco. Cruise’s specially equipped Chevrolet Bolt electric cars with backup drivers onboard will be used to make deliveries.

Orders will be transported from local restaurants and grocery stores. Customers will be notified as the vehicle approaches their location to complete the delivery.

Cruise and DoorDash will use the pilot program to evaluate and fine-tune aspects of autonomous delivery, including safety, technology, quality, logistics and efficiency.

Several other companies also are testing autonomous food delivery services. Ford launched a pilot program last February in Miami, while Kroger is partnering with Silicon Valley startup Nuro in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Waymo is working with Walmart in Phoenix.

GM has said it intends to launch a ride-hailing service later this year that will use a fleet of automated self-driving cars. Cruise has 180 autonomous vehicles registered for operation in California.

DoorDash was launched in 2013 by former Stanford University students.