Delivery people delivering meals to Uber Eats users, likely robots and self-driving cars

In the Los Angeles area, if you see some self-driving cars, they are likely to be doing Uber Eats self-service food delivery services.

Uber Eats is a food delivery service launched by the transportation network company Uber (Uber) in 2014. It cooperates with local restaurants in cities around the world, allowing users to order food online through a mobile phone application, and can be delivered from the delivery after a period of time. The staff gets the food they ordered.

▲ Picture from: MTL Blog

Uber Eats' self-driving applications are currently limited to a small number of pilots. Serve Robotics' sidewalk robots will provide short-distance deliveries in West Hollywood, and Motional's fully electric self-driving fleet will provide long-distance deliveries in Santa Monica.

Uber Eats users living in pilot areas can choose whether or not their food will be delivered by self-driving cars at checkout. Once selected, users can also track their food as usual and receive notifications when food arrives.

▲ Picture from: Uber

Users receive a code on their phone to unlock the vehicle and pick up the food they ordered, either in a Serve Robotics robot or in the back seat of a Motional car.

However, there are limits to how “automated” these automated food delivery services are at the moment. According to Motional and California DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) test licensing rules, a personal safety operator is required to be on board the vehicle during delivery. Uber also said the operator will also manually drive the delivery vehicle as needed near where customers will drop off.

▲ Picture from: Motional

Also, while Serve Robotics' robots are capable of operating at level 4 autonomy in some cases. But during the Uber Eats pilot, the robot will be monitored by a remote operator who will take over certain operations, such as crossing roads.

Motional also said that if there is a drop-off point near the delivery location, but not within Motional’s current automated service area, the vehicle will be manually operated to deliver the order to the customer’s home, rather than having the user walk to meet the vehicle.

This is done to ensure a convenient and seamless experience for customers and to maximize opportunities for customers to have a contactless delivery experience. As Motional's delivery of autonomous services expands, more trips in the future will be fully autonomous.

▲ Picture from: Serve Robotics

Since its inception, Uber Eats has been one of Uber's outstanding performance and performance services. Under the influence of the epidemic, people's demand for food delivery services is even stronger. Uber is starting to experiment with self-driving deliveries, possibly to better market the service or to reduce the fees it pays drivers.

▲ Picture from: Uber

However, there are many obstacles to the promotion of this service. Self-driving cars alone still have numerous potential problems and poor safety. In 2018, a self-driving Uber "backup driver" was accused of negligently causing the death of a pedestrian while the driver was using a mobile phone.

▲ Picture from: Uber

Of course, the idea of ​​automating food delivery has its own merits. The delivery process is safer for users and more efficient for Uber, but it remains to be seen whether this service will really develop as envisioned in the future. .

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