Uber launches food delivery robot in two California cities

Uber aims to have only electric vehicles on its platform in the United States, Canada and Europe by 2030.

Uber Technologies Inc today announced that it has launched pilot food delivery services with self-driving vehicles in two California cities, and announced that it is adding electric vehicle charging stations to its global app for drivers.

The announcements are part of Uber’s annual product event where the transportation and food delivery company showcases the latest updates to its app.

Uber has announced a food delivery service using self-driving cars and a separate pilot project using sidewalk robots. Both services are available to Uber Eats users in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, California, and consumers will have the option to opt out of the programs.

The self-driving car driver is in collaboration with Motional, the self-driving joint venture of Hyundai Motor Co and Aptiv PLC, and was originally announced in December. It launched on Monday, Uber and Motional said.

Uber said the sidewalk robots are provided by Serve Robotics, a spin-off of delivery company Postmates, which Uber acquired in 2020.

Both services’ vehicles are actively monitored by human operators, Uber said, adding that “it will be some time before this technology is fully leveraged.”

Autonomous companies have repeatedly pushed back the deadlines to provide truly driverless rides at scale, with only a few limited fully autonomous programs available in the United States.

Uber also announced today that it is launching a map of electric vehicle charging stations this summer in its driver app in the United States, and later around the world, with the aim of encouraging drivers to switch to a battery-powered vehicle.

Uber, which aims to have only electric vehicles on its platform in the United States, Canada and Europe by 2030, said charging was one of the biggest hurdles for drivers on the way. to electric vehicles.

The company also said it is launching an option this summer to rent party buses and coaches, as well as vans through its US app in conjunction with rental service US Coachway.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Bernard P. Love