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Autonomous Food Delivery Pilots to Launch in Los Angeles

Uber Eats is launching two autonomous delivery pilots in Los Angeles with Serve Robotics, a robotic sidewalk delivery startup, and Motional, an autonomous vehicle technology company. The pilots will focus on shorter and longer trips respectively.

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(TNS) — It looks like Uber is trying something new and it has something to do with robots.

It’s what we suspected all this time about the future – Robots are slowly but surely taking over and it’s only a matter of time until humans are replaced by robots.

Uber Eats is launching two autonomous delivery pilots in Los Angeles with Serve Robotics, a robotic sidewalk delivery startup, and Motional, an autonomous vehicle technology company, TechCrunch reported.

With limited trials, both of the pilots are starting out small and delivering food from only a few merchants, including, an organic café and juicer called Kreation, according to TechCrunch.

But since there are two different programs, what will each focus on?

Serve’s program will focus on shorter trips in West Hollywood while Motional’s program will handle longer distance deliveries in Santa Monica.

“We’ll be able to learn from both of those pilots what customers actually want, what merchants actually want and what makes sense for delivery as we start to integrate our platform with AV companies,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Uber will apparently charge for the deliveries from Serve but Motional is up in the air. According to Engadget, autonomous vehicle deliveries in California require a permit that Motional doesn’t have, which could mean that customers won’t be charged for deliveries from their vehicle, for now.

Additionally, human operators will take control when near the drop-off locations “to ensure a convenient and seamless experience for customers,” the Uber spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Serve robots will mostly be able to operate autonomously but remote operators will take control in certain cases, such as crossing the street.

So, what will a typical delivery look like?

According to Engadget, customers who reside in specific test zones will have the option to have their food delivered by an autonomous vehicle and can track it just like a regular delivery. When the food arrives, they’ll be able to unlock the vehicle with a passcode to get their ordered meals and it’ll be either from a Serve cooler or the backseat of a Motional car.

“The hope is that [the trials] are successful and that we learn over the coming months and then figure out how to scale,” the Uber spokesperson said.

So, is this new move further proof that robots will soon take over the world?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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