The corporate has expanded its pilot program to Fairfax, Va., the place an undisclosed variety of the 40 Mosaic District eating places that use Uber Eats will hand deliveries over to a autonomous robots.
It’s the newest transfer within the partnership between Uber Eats and Cartken, an AI-powered robotics firm.
“Cartken is at an inflection level, the place we’re quickly bringing our AI, laptop imaginative and prescient, and lidar-less autonomous robots to extra locations,” stated Anjali Jindal Naik, co-founder and COO at Cartken.
Cartken additionally works with Uber Eats competitor GrubHub, delivering meals on school campuses. It has labored with Uber Eats on a earlier trial of robotic deliveries in Miami.
Based mostly in Oakland, Calif, Cartken was based by a crew of former Google engineers. Every of its robots has a container that may ship as a lot as 24 lbs. of cargo and makes use of embedded cameras to keep away from obstacles and assist in guiding it to its vacation spot.
Deliveries are made curbside, because the robots (which resemble coolers on wheels) are incapable of climbing stairs. They’re a lot slower than conventional car deliveries, transferring at roughly the pace of a human’s strolling tempo, however with a devoted fleet of delivery-bots, that might lower down on wait occasions.
Uber has proven a rising curiosity in autonomous automobiles for the previous a number of years, noting it might prop up the promoting enterprise (together with its personal in-house advert arm).
It’s transferring a bit slower than it did earlier than the pandemic, nevertheless. The corporate, on the time, had widespread testing of the automobiles, however offered off the unit after a lady was killed by one of many vehicles in 2017.