Uber Eats will become a “super app” with autonomous food deliveries

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Uber Eats has been working on self-driving food deliveries in Santa Monica and Hollywood. It is testing deliveries via robots in the Los Angeles area. Self-driving vehicle company Motional and self-driving sidewalk delivery company Serve Robotics are collaborating with Uber.

Image credits – KTLA

A spokesperson for Uber Eats told Gizmodo, “We want to make Uber the best platform for all AV technology partners to leverage the power and scale of the platform. ‘Uber to bring safe and reliable self-driving technology to consumers around the world.’ Additionally, “These unique drivers are part of our first steps to integrate autonomous technologies into Uber’s strategy to be the only global platform to help you get anywhere and get anything.”

The partnership between Uber and Motional was announced in December 2021, while Motional has been testing since November 2020. Uber-adjacent startup Serve Robotics was after Uber acquired Postmates in 2020. Postmates repurposed its robotics division into a startup in its own right named Serve Robotics. It is further known that the pilot program starts with a small fleet, before expansion. Serve Robotics will launch services for short-haul deliveries in West Hollywood. During this time, Motional will make deliveries to Santa Monica.

Growth

Uber Eats has been Uber’s main source of revenue as restaurants continue to reopen at full capacity in the wake of the pandemics. CNBC said Uber investors are happy with the growth. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is focused on growing the subsidiary much faster.

Currently, as the company experiments with self-driving deliveries, this could lead to huge cost reductions in the future. Both pilots start small and only deliver food from a few vendors, including a coffee shop and an organic juice called Kreation. Serve’s schedule will focus on shorter trips to West Hollywood. Motional’s services will handle longer distance deliveries in Santa Monica, according to an Uber spokesperson.

Uber said “Motional and Uber expect that certain delivery charges that might otherwise be applicable will not be charged during this initial phase.” Motional clarified further, saying during the pilot, that there would be no costs specific to the delivery orchestrated by the Motional vehicle. There don’t appear to be any laws prohibiting businesses from charging for deliveries made by sidewalk robots, so Serve is clear. Uber said that if a customer decides to tip a Serve robot, they will be reimbursed.

A Motional spokesperson said: “If there is a drop off point nearby, but not within Motional’s current self-contained service area, the vehicle will be manually operated in order to deliver the order to the customer’s doorstep, rather than to ask him to walk. to meet the AV.


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