Uber Eats is preparing to launch 2,000 autonomous delivery robots in the United States. The initiative comes as part of an expanded partnership with Serve Robotics, a company initially established as the robotics division of Uber’s food delivery service Postmates in 2017.
Serve Robotics has been successful in designing, developing and operating zero emission delivery bots, which are currently serving Los Angeles and San Francisco. The company has been collaborating with more than 200 restaurants in California to enable the delivery of meals through the Uber Eats platform. The company plans to expand its operations through 2026, with potential markets including San Jose, Dallas, and Vancouver. However, the specific locations where the delivery robots will be deployed have yet to be officially confirmed.
Serve’s sidewalk robots are designed to operate seven days a week, from 10 am to 9 pm They possess Level 4 autonomy, a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) designation, which allows them to handle all aspects of their tasks delivery under certain conditions without human intervention. The robots can anticipate driver inattention to avoid collisions, and if they encounter unexpected situations such as construction sites or police tape, they stop and request help from remote supervisors.
The partnership between Serve and Uber began a year ago with a pilot project in West Hollywood. Since then, the use of Serve’s robotic deliveries through Uber has seen growth of more than 30% month-over-month. The current fleet includes 100 robots operating in Los Angeles, with the expectation that the number will increase as Uber coverage and delivery volume increase.
In addition to the collaboration with Serve Robotics, Uber is also participating in other autonomous technology companies. It recently announced a “multi-year strategic partnership” with Waymo, a competitor, to offer autonomous car rides to customers in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, Uber has also expanded its food delivery pilot with AI-powered partner Cartken from Miami to Fairfax, Virginia, where the bots are currently delivering meals and providing curbside pickup to locals.
The value of the deal between Serve and Uber has not been disclosed. Serve operates on a delivery-as-a-service business model, which means the company gets paid after each delivery is complete. This ambitious undertaking could potentially revolutionize the food delivery industry, marking a significant step towards a future where autonomous robots are a common sight on city sidewalks.
Source: Geeks Room by geeksroom.com.
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