Uber abandoned its work on developing autonomous cars in 2020, but in recent weeks the company has indicated it is still interested in exploring elements of autonomous technology for its services.
This week, for example, it was revealed that Serv Robotics plans to expand its alliance uber eats to deploy 2,000 of its tiny delivery robots across the United States and Canada by the end of this year or early next year, TechCrunch reported.
The partnership currently consists of a small-scale delivery service in a small part of Los Angeles that began last year, with more than 200 restaurants now on wheels to deliver food to hungry customers between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. -based bot.
It’s not yet clear which locations the new food delivery robots will be in, though San Jose, Dallas and Vancouver are prime candidates.
Originally founded in 2017 as part of Postmates’ robotics unit, Serv is slated to launch as an independent startup in 2021 following Uber’s acquisition of Postmates a year ago.
Serv’s robots, which are powered by Starship Technologies and Autonomy in many ways, cruise the pavement on four wheels and can operate for nearly a full day on a single charge of their built-in batteries.
The sensor-laden autonomous vehicle has a top speed of 7 mph (about 11 kph) and has a small food-carrying compartment that the customer unlocks when they reach their destination.
Commenting on the expanded deal with Uber, Ali Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serv Robotics, described it as “a major step towards commercializing robotics at scale for autonomous delivery”, and added that he ” Ready to bring this innovative technology to more cities across the country.
In another sign of Uber’s continued interest in autonomous technology, the company recently revealed that Waymo robotaxis will soon be bookable through Uber’s own ride-sharing app. The service will debut later this year in parts of Phoenix, Arizona, where Waymo already offers robotaxi rides to paying passengers through its Waymo One app.
Uber has partnered with Motional to deliver food in Santa Monica, California using a self-driving version of Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 SUV.