With thousands of people ordering delivery every day, Serve Robotics and Uber Eats have partnered to bring cutting-edge robots to the streets of Southern California.
Serve Robotics is a company that features driverless technology and they are now using their robots to bring delivery throughout Hollywood and West Hollywood, with plans to expand in more neighborhoods worldwide.
“We’re getting people their lunch and dinners, via robot,” Serve Robotics' MJ Chun said.
At the Serve Robotics headquarters pilots are using a video game controller to guide the robot through the neighborhood, ensuring they remain on the sidewalk.
“The robots are out in the world by themselves, they understand what’s going around them, and they are getting there from A to B.”
Customers are able to identify their robot because each robot has its own name.
“We do believe it makes it easier if our restaurants and merchant partners, as well as the customers know which robot is bringing their lunch,” Chun said. “It’s a lot like hailing an Uber driver, where you’re like ‘OK, that’s my Uber driver’s name, this is their license plate. Well, with the robots all you need to know is their name.”
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In recent weeks they partnered with Uber. This is the second autonomous endeavor for the company as they’ve also partnered with Motional, a driverless vehicle brand out of Santa Monica.
“This is something that we had been working toward for a long time,” said Eduardo Rojas, who's on the Uber Autonomous, Mobility, and Delivery team. “Our main focus is to serve the merchants and our clients and in order to do that we need to build a more robust marketplace and I think autonomous vehicles serve that purpose very well, just to have a more powerful, more reliable marketplace where people can more easily and reliable get their food and merchants can get their food out to their customers.”
LALA’s on Melrose is one of the restaurants working with the robotic delivery.
“We hired so many new positions just based off this new delivering industry,” LALA’s Maximiliano Weschler said. “It’s exciting because I can see how it’s going to change just the whole system of delivering food.”