Uber Eats launched not only one, but two autonomous delivery pilots in Los Angeles today, TechCrunch reported. The first is through a partnership with Motional’s self-driving car, Originally announced in Decemberand the second is a partnership with sidewalk delivery company Serve Robotics, which was spun out of Uber itself.
Trials will be limited, with only a handful of merchants offering delivery, including Kreation juice shops and organic cafes. Serve will make short-haul deliveries in West Hollywood, while Motional will handle longer-duration deliveries in Santa Monica. “We’ll be able to learn from these two pilots what customers really want, what merchants really want and what it means to deliver,” an Uber spokesman said. TechCrunch.
Uber apparently charges for deliveries from Serve. However, self-driving car deliveries in California require a license that Motional reportedly doesn’t have, so for now, it doesn’t appear that customers will be charged for their vehicle deliveries. Additionally, a human operator will take control “to ensure a convenient and seamless experience for customers” when near a drop-off location, a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, Serve’s robots will mostly be able to operate autonomously, but in some cases, a remote operator will take control, such as when crossing a road.
Customers in specific test areas can choose to have their food delivered by the self-driving car, and the food can be tracked just like regular deliveries. When the food arrives, they’ll be able to unlock the vehicle with a code to get the food, whether it’s from a service cooler or the back seat of a Motional car. “Hopefully [the trials] It was a success, and we’ll learn over the next few months before figuring out how to scale,” an Uber spokesman said.
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