Uber last Thursday, April 20, announced the expansion of partnerships with the Cartken robotics company, which provides services for the delivery of goods.
As part of the expansion of the cooperation program, Uber will offer autonomous delivery at the Mosaic District shopping center in Fairfax, Virginia. This decision is a continuation of the history of the partnership between Uber Eats and Cartken, which began with the implementation of the pilot project of robotic delivery in Miami, which started in December last year.
The head of Uber’s autonomous mobility and delivery department, Noah Zicha, said that cooperation with Cartken allows for meeting the demand coming from the community of visitors, buyers, and local residents, which is characterized by high dynamism. The head of the department noted that robotic delivery with Uber Eats is perfect for Fairfax consumers who are looking for a fun and convenient way to have a snack.
Separately, the representative of Uber stressed that both sides of cooperation are interested in developing advanced concepts of urban space development, which include innovative city design, environmental friendliness, and a high level of technology.
Uber Eats is not the only aggregator looking for ways to automate the delivery process. In November last year, DoorDash announced the testing of automatic delivery in Australia as part of a collaboration with Google’s subsidiary Alphabet. The pilot project was related to the delivery of Wing drones. In October 2022, Grubhub began collaborating with autonomous delivery service provider Starship Technologies to introduce delivery robots using sidewalk rovers on college campuses in the United States.
The interest of aggregators in ways to automate delivery is due to several factors. Robotic tools reduce the cost of this service and increase the profitability of companies. Also, with the automation of the process, the level of availability of delivery for consumers increases.
In January of this year, a study was conducted in the United States with the participation of more than 2,100 consumers, according to the results of which it became known that 48% of respondents take orders in restaurants, preferring this method of delivery due to inflation.
Reducing costs for aggregators is a top priority in the current conditions. DoorDash CEO Tony Xu said that over the past year, the firm has managed to reduce costs for consumers by about 8%. He also noted that the company is working on many ways to reduce costs to ensure the availability of the service in the future.
Many restaurants are also testing robotic delivery. In the fall of 2022, the Charleys Philly Steaks cheesesteak chain, which has more than 700 locations in 17 countries, established a partnership with Flytrex, a drone delivery company in Durham, North Carolina. Also last year, Chick-fil-A began testing autonomous order fulfillment as part of a collaboration with autonomous robot delivery firm Refraction in downtown Austin, Texas.
Ali Kashani, co-founder, and CEO of the robotic delivery company Serve, said that the popularity of this technology does not negate the need to overcome the factors inhibiting its implementation. He noted that demand is already at a high level, but time is still needed for deeper integration of robots into the delivery sector and increasing the production of robotic devices for moving goods. Ali Kashani also said that the educational component is important, which is that people should understand why there is a robotic delivery and why it should be.
As we have reported earlier, Uber Sells $400 Million Stake in Careem Super App Business.