US-based online ordering and delivery firm Uber Eats, part of Uber Technologies, has rolled out pilot autonomous food delivery services in two California cities, namely Santa Monica and West Hollywood.
These pilots have been launched in collaboration with startups Motional and Serve Robotics, reported Reuters.
Motional is an autonomous vehicle joint venture firm of Hyundai Motor and Aptiv.
Serve Robotics is a spin-off of delivery company Postmates, which was acquired by Uber in 2020, and provides robots that can navigate on sidewalks.
The ride-hail and food delivery company launched one food delivery service pilot by deploying self-driving vehicles, while the other leveraged sidewalk robots.
Uber consumers can choose to opt out of the pilot programmes.
The autonomous vehicle and sidewalk robot services will be monitored by human operators.
Uber was quoted by the news agency as stating that ‘it will be some time before this technology is operated at scale’.
Meanwhile, Uber has also announced plans for Uber Eats at Stadiums, so that visitors can order food without needing to wait in line at concession stands.
The service will be available in New York at Yankee Stadium; Washington, DC, at Capital One Arena; Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium; Houston at Minute Maid Park; and San Jose at PayPal Park, reported USA Today.
Upon entering their seat location, the Uber Eats app will allow users to view the closest concession stands and wait times. When their order is ready, users can walk to the concession stand to pick it up.
The announcements were made as part of Uber’s annual product event, held on May 16, during which the company displayed the latest updates to its app.
Uber also announced the launch of a map of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in its driver app at the event. The move would encourage drivers to move to EVs and is planned to launch in the US this summer as well as globally later.