Uber Eats has partnered with robotics company Cartken to offer automated food delivery in Florida using self-driving robots. The offering will launch with select retailers in the Dadeland area of Miami-Dade County, with plans to expand to additional cities in 2023.
Cartken’s AI-powered sidewalk delivery robots currently are used for neighborhood food and grocery delivery, campus meal delivery and curbside pickup across the country. Uber Eats will be the solution provider’s first formal partnership with a global on-demand delivery app beyond college campuses.
“Miami is a thriving Uber Eats market and we are excited to bring its residents a little more Uber magic through sidewalk robot delivery,” said Noah Zych, Global Head of Autonomous Mobility and Delivery at Uber in a statement. “Our partnership with Cartken marks another important milestone for our efforts in automated and autonomous technology and will provide greater reliability and affordability to Miami merchants and consumers.”
Uber has been working to enhance its appeal through functionalities including the ability to place orders when grocery stores aren’t open for later delivery, live tracking of orders from store to door and easier product replacements. Uber also recently began offering delivery from 17,000 neighborhood stores through a partnership with National Retail Solutions.
Many retailers and delivery companies also are turning to automated customer fulfillment solutions to improve speed and convenience. Not every pilot has been a success — Amazon recently ended its live testing of Scout delivery robots, though it will continue experimenting with the technology — but many are ongoing:
- Walgreens is working with Wing, Alphabet’s drone delivery service, to make deliveries in the Dallas-Fort Worth region of Texas;
- Paradies Lagardère has enabled autonomous delivery from select stores to waiting fliers at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport; and
- Walmart has partnered with DroneUp to broaden its drone delivery network to 34 sites, offering same-day delivery in parts of Texas, Arizona and Florida.