Uber Eats app will start using Nuro delivery bots

Uber Eats app will start using Nuro delivery bots

  • Uber Eats will begin using Nuro’s delivery bots in two cities ahead of a planned wider rollout, part of a 10-year contract signed with the independent technology developer.
  • Nuro is testing its R2 robots in real traffic in a number of states, with the driverless robot being seen as an alternative to food and parcel delivery vehicles.
  • Nuru’s newest delivery robot is 20% smaller than a passenger car and features 27 cubic feet of compartments that can hold nearly 500 pounds.

    Independent tech developer Nuro is partnering with Uber Eats in a long-awaited partnership that will see the company’s latest robot deliver food to app users. The two companies signed a 10-year contract just a few days ago, paving the way for a broader deployment of Nuro’s driverless delivery robots, which are operating on a limited scale in several cities.

    The partnership will start slowly, with Nuro deploying its robots in Houston and Mountain View, California, as a start, before the service becomes more widespread in the Bay Area.

    The autonomous technology developer was the first company to receive an independent deployment permit from the state of California, and also the first to offer autonomous vehicle operations to Arizona, California and Texas.

    “Nuro and Uber share a vision where technology can make everyday life just a little easier,” said Noah Zek, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber. “Nuro’s premium self-driving vehicles are a great match for the Uber platform, and this partnership will bring a compelling blend of innovation along with the convenience, affordability, and reliability that our customers and merchants have come to expect.”

    Perhaps most importantly, Nuro’s delivery bots will allow Uber Eats to do so Not You have to pay the human driver, something the company has worked towards for years as part of its core business as well. However, the late development of Level 4 and Level 5 autonomy, widely expected around 2020, has stalled the ambitions of Uber, which has struggled to achieve profitability through normal operations with independent contractor drivers.

    Nuro’s delivery robots enjoyed renewed interest from business partners in the early months of the pandemic, but the company’s technology is now seen as a cost saver for operators rather than a way to deliver more health services.

    Of course, a limited rollout in two cities as well as plans to launch in the Gulf region won’t change Uber Eats’ business model overnight. This could take years even with an unlimited supply of Nuro delivery robots – with regulatory approval still being the main obstacle. That’s because driverless commercial permits are granted on a state-by-state basis, as well as city and county approvals, which have been tough enough to get Nuro in in the Bay Area, where Level 4 automated taxis are being tested. Nuro will need to focus its efforts in those areas. in which the traffic is suitable for its robots.

    Right now, even a year from now, there is little risk that Nuro bots will replace human Uber Eats drivers, which is not desirable for Uber investors.

    Will we see delivery robots replace human delivery drivers by the end of the decade, or is this trend further afield? Let us know in the comments below.

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