It’s been two years since Uber called it quits trying to make its own self-driving cars, but the ride-hailing giant is now rushing to market with a distributed fleet of delivery robots and self-driving vehicles thanks to a flurry of recent partnerships.
Those attending the world’s largest tech show, CES, may have the chance to ride an all-electric self-driving Uber from Motional, a Boston-based Hyundai-backed startup. Companies just announced a 10-year agreement To bring millions of independent rides to the Uber network. After the publication in Las Vegas, a wider publication in Los Angeles is planned. Motional’s Hyundai IONIQ 5 robotic engine has been delivering Uber Eats orders in Santa Monica since May as part of a pilot program.
In Miami, Uber Eats is rolling out delivery bots to the curb with Cartken’s AI-powered couriers. The robotics company founded by ex-Google engineers is currently running across universities With food delivery services like GrubHub. The Uber Eats partnership will be its first outside of college campuses.
Other partners include Serve Robotics, which makes curbside deliveries for Uber Eats in West Hollywood. Uber startup Redwood City spun off last year as a result of its $2.65 billion acquisition of Postmates in 2020.
Nuro will debut on the Uber network in Mountain View, California and Houston, Texas. This stems from a 10-year agreement announced at Uber’s Go/Get conference in May. The company has the honor of being the first to receive an independent publication permit from the California DMV.
The global Uber team on autonomous mobility and delivery is led by Noah Zish He said The scope of these partnerships demonstrates the important role shared autonomous vehicles will play in the future of transportation and Uber’s mission to be the platform that helps users go anywhere and get anything.
But Lyft is also pursuing these partnerships and the way forward is not without challenges.
One of the biggest players in the space is General Motors Corp.’s Cruise Automation, which has been offering driverless cruises in San Francisco since last year. The company has around 100 self-driving vehicles that operate without a safe driver and seeks to expand that to 5,000 vehicles. But the city is taking a hard look at its plans as concerns have been raised that such an expansion could overwhelm the city’s streets, according to message by SFMT.
In addition, there was a strange instance where an empty taxi was stopped for a traffic violation and The police were at a loss How do you interact with it. Cruz said she has addressed this problem by providing training to police departments and a dedicated phone number to call in those situations.
The market is also still nascent and operates in an environment of economic uncertainty and rising costs.
Although there are great competitors like Zoox which was acquired by Amazon in 2020 for $1.2 billion and autonomous trucking company Aurora which went public last year after being spun off by Uber. Ford and VW powered by Argo AI suddenly shutdown In October, Apple just abandoned ambitions of developing a fully autonomous Level 5 car, opting for Level 4 instead where human interaction is still required. It has pushed the launch of its self-driving car to 2026.
To get a better idea of where the technology stands, CES is showing off several of these self-driving cars at the show, which takes place January 5-8 in Las Vegas, and hosts the Indy Autonomous Challenge, a competition that has nine fully self-driving cars racing at speeds over 190 mph on January 7, 1-3 p.m. at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
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