Instacart reportedly has a plan to replace many of its gig workers with robots.
The supermarket delivery app has been angling for nearly a year to build fulfillment centers that rely on robots instead of personal shoppers to pluck packaged goods from shelves, although the plan faces major delays, according to a Bloomberg report.
The San Francisco-based giant, which has been slammed with protests over accusations that it has been nickel-and-diming its workers, would largely eliminate personal shoppers under the initiative except for those that gather fresh food, according to the report.
One proposal, according to documents Bloomberg obtained, would create a network of stand-alone fulfillment centers that would handle more than 3,500 orders a day using 700 robots and just 160 people. A second option calls for a smaller facility using just 150 robots and 40 workers and would be likely be located at the grocery store.
Supermarkets would be responsible for forecasting orders and handling inventory while Instacart would process the customer orders and handle the drivers, according to the report. A technology provider would build the fulfillment centers.
However, the initiative is running behind schedule, as no supermarket has signed on to test it and no technology