Uber Eats is scaling up and moving towards autonomous food delivery. The company aims to deliver food in driverless vehicles. Uber Eats has just launched two autonomous delivery pilots in Los Angeles. They have long claimed that automation is key to their future profitability.
Uber is finally partnering up with two start-ups to achieve this amazing feat. The first comes with a robotic sidewalk delivery startup called ‘Severe Robotics’ and an autonomous vehicle technology company known as ‘Motional.’
Uber Eats to partner with startups
The new program is part of a new product that Uber is launching across its ride-hailing and delivery platforms. The announcement was made Monday at the Uber Eats Global Product Event. According to a story by Tech Crunch, the Motional partnership was announced back in December.
It’s the first time Uber has ever partnered with an AV fleet provider. The report also said it’s the very first-time Motional is stepping foot in autonomous delivery. So far, the company has been focused on Robo-taxis, securing partnerships with companies like Lyft and Via.
From personal mobility in Robo-Taxis to trucks plying the highways 24-7 to driverless pods delivering pizzas, Motional has now joined hands with Uber Eats to make autonomous delivery possible.
Further reports say that Serve Robotics is an Uber spinout. So seeing the two partners in the delivery space isn’t surprising. However, it is essential to note that Uber Eats will not be working with Aurora on the following project despite the partnership.
How would these deliveries work?
Uber said that certain charges would be applicable for deliveries as Motional does not have permits for autonomous vehicle deliveries required by California. And it can only test the pilot with a driver on board, not including a driverless pilot.
It is safe to assume that customers will not be charged for deliveries from their vehicles. Serve robots are meant to operate autonomously but are hard at work. Remote operators will take control of the vehicle in certain cases.
When crossing a street or near drop-off locations, a spokesperson from Uber eats said “to ensure a convenient and seamless experience for customers,” to the crunch. The trials, for now, will be limited, with deliveries from just a few merchants like the Kreation juicery and organic cafe.
Serve will do short delivery routes in West Hollywood. On the other hand, Motional will take care of longer deliveries in Santa Monica. Customers in certain test zones can get their food delivered by an autonomous vehicle and even track it in real-time.
Upon arrival, a passcode can unlock the vehicle to obtain their meal, either from a Serve Cooler or the backseat of a Motional car. Are you excited about autonomous deliveries from Uber Eats? Tell us in the comments.