"Over the years we’ve been doing a lot to learn more about the role autonomous vehicles can play in retail, and we’ve seen enough to know it’s no longer a question of if they’ll be scaled, but when," Walmart U.S. CEO John Furner wrote in a memo.
In the note, Furner called Walmart's investment "a marker" for the retailer that shows its "commitment to bringing the benefit of self-driving cars" to its customers and business. According to Furner, Walmart's investment in Cruise will help the company work towards "developing a last mile delivery ecosystem that’s fast, low-cost and scalable."
In November, Walmart began a delivery pilot with Cruise in Scottsdale, Arizona. Furner touted the company's "differentiated business model, unique technology and unmatched driverless testing."
The investment in Cruise also fits in Walmart's plans to tackle climate change. In September, Walmart shared its plans to become a zero-emission company across its global operations by 2040. Part of that plan includes electrifying and zeroing out emissions from its vehicles, including its fleet of long-haul trucks.
With Walmart and several other institutional investors, Cruise, which is a majority-owned subsidiary of General Motors (GM), raised a total of $2.75 billion in its latest round at a valuation of more than $30 billion, according to a separate press release.
Julia La Roche is a correspondent for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.