TechCrunch: Uber Eats Pilots Autonomous Delivery With Serve Robotics, Motional
Uber Eats customers in Los Angeles will soon have their meal delivered autonomously by a sidewalk robot and self-driving cars. The ride-hailing giant has launched two autonomous delivery pilot programmes, collaborating closely with Serve Robotics, a robotic sidewalk delivery startup, and Motional, an autonomous vehicle technology company. During the trial run, a human remote operator will be onboard to help monitor the robot’s movements and take over in difficult situations.
As Uber continues to expand greatly into the food delivery industry, automated robots are indeed an intriguing tool in lowering the high cost of food delivery and reducing environmental impact. “We’ll be able to learn from both of those pilots what customers actually want, what merchants actually want and what makes sense for delivery as we start to integrate our platform with AV companies,” Uber’s spokesperson told TechCrunch.
These pilot programmes are on an opt-in basis, which means that users will have the choice at checkout to use an autonomous delivery robot or vehicle if they are within a supported area. Both pilot programmes will help the company decide how to best implement autonomous robots and vehicles into its operations at scale.
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