Uber Eats Starts Trying Robot Autonomous Delivery with Two Startups
Uber Eats is making a move towards driverless delivery with the help of autonomous delivery. The company has just launched two autonomous pilots in Los Angeles with the help of two different startups.
Uber Eats is Doing a Pilot with a Robotic Sidewalk Delivery Startup
According to the story by Tech Crunch, Uber Eats did the pilots with a robotic sidewalk delivery startup called Server Robotics and an autonomous vehicle tech company known as Motional. The new programs are to be included in Uber’s list of new products across its delivery and ride-hailing platforms.
The company is expected to announce the new services at its Global Product Event. The announcement of Uber’s first-ever partnership with an AV fleet provider, Motional, was announced back in December of 2021.
Uber Partners with Motional, a Company Previously More Focused on Robotaxies
The announcement happened when Motional also said that it would be trying out autonomous delivery. To add, Motional was previously more focused on robotaxies and has been able to secure partnerships with Via and Lyft.
Server Robotics, on the other hand, was said to be an Uber spinout, according to Tech Crunch. It is important to note that despite the partnership, they will not be working with Aurora on the project.
Uber Pilots Will Start in West Hollywood and Santa Monica
Aurora first bought Uber ATG in 2020, with Uber investing $ 400 million as part of the deal. As per Tech Crunch, Uber told them that the company is looking for not just one player when it comes to the autonomous delivery space, meaning in the future, there could be more partners.
The pilots will start with just a few unnamed merchants to deliver their food through autonomous services. According to a spokesperson from Uber, West Hollywood will be in the hands of Server, while Santa Monica will be handled by Motional.
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Motional Does Not Yet Have Permits for Driverless Pilot Launching
As per the spokesperson, the pilots will help them learn more about what the customers and merchants want, which will allow them to integrate the needed features into the platform with AV companies. Uber hopes to scale over the coming months after they have figured the details out.
Uber says that customers will have to cover the cost of deliveries and food with both Seve and Motional. As of press time, it remains unclear as to whether Motional will do the same since, in California, they would still need a Department of Motor Vehicles deployment permit to launch this type of service or pilot as detailed in AutoNews.
Motional’s technique so far only allows them to test the pilot with a driver on board and not including a driverless pilot. Uber responded to this issue by saying certain delivery fees will not be charged during the initial phase of the pilot launching.
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Written by Urian B.
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