Uber to pilot on-demand robotic delivery

Uber as an investor. According to Serve, its self-driving robots have successfully completed tens of thousands of contactless deliveries in major U.S. cities, and it has established several commercial partnerships.

Uber Technologies Inc. is partnering with autonomous sidewalk delivery company Serve Robotics to pilot an on-demand robotic delivery service in Los Angeles in early 2022. Users of the company’s Uber Eats food delivery platform in the Los Angeles area will be able to have orders delivered contact-free by zero-emissions Serve rovers.

Serve began as the robotics division of Postmates, which was acquired by Uber in July 2020 for $2.65 billion, and was spun off as an independent company in February 2021, with Uber as an investor. According to Serve, its self-driving robots have successfully completed tens of thousands of contactless deliveries in major U.S. cities, and it has established several commercial partnerships.

Postmates (then an independent company) initially deployed Serve in Los Angeles in July 2019. Serve utilizes the Ouster LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor to help manage activities such as navigating sidewalks and detecting pedestrians. Postmates combines its proprietary Socially-Aware-Navigation system with Ouster’s multi-beam flash LIDAR architecture.

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