Cute robots and self-driving cars will now deliver food from UberEats
Now cartoon robots will work in UberEats. The company launched two test delivery programs for UberEats in Los Angeles, California. Read more about this publication Entrepreneur.
There are two delivery options - four-wheeled cartoon robots with headlights instead of eyes, and unmanned vehicles.
As of May 16, some UberEats customers have the option to opt for robotic delivery, and those who do so receive instructions on the Uber app detailing how to get their order, though it's quite simple: take food from a robotic refrigerator or from an insulated container on back seat of the car.
Robots operated by Serve Robotics are controlled remotely by a human operator. The cars, Hyundai's self-driving sedans from Motional, are needed to fill larger orders. The company, owned by Hyundai and automotive technology provider Aptiv, plans to launch a robotic taxi service with Lyft next year in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Noah Zich, head of autonomous delivery at Uber, said robot delivery will make up a "very, very small part" of the company's deliveries at this point, but "this is the first chapter on autonomous vehicles delivering on Uber. We see potential in the future, but we must start with where we are today.”
Uber is certainly not the first to use delivery robots. Amazon began public testing of its Scout robot delivery service in 2019. Domino's and Kroger have also experimented with this concept. However, technical and regulatory issues continue to pose challenges, so it may be some time before companies start using delivery robots more widely.
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But it remains an attractive option, especially since Uber's adjusted margin is worse for food delivery than taxis, and lower labor costs would help boost it.
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