Automated smile service: Uber launches a fleet of self-driving food delivery machines in Miami — days after the company banned pay raises for workers in New York City
- Uber has teamed up with robotics company Cartken to deliver robots in Miami, Florida
- The partnership uses six-wheeled Cartken robots to deliver food
- Uber tested other bots in California and Dubai earlier this year
Uber may be looking to replace some human drivers with robots after facing court battles from workers seeking pay increases.
The ride-hailing service giant is using self-driving robots to deliver food for UberEats from select merchants in Miami, Florida, and is set to expand to more cities next year.
The six-wheeled, sidewalk-traveling robot is from Cartken, founded by ex-Google engineers, and features a crate capable of carrying up to 24 pounds of cargo.
The partnership, announced Thursday, comes two days after a Manhattan judge approved Uber’s bid to temporarily block ride-hailing drivers’ pay increases from going into effect next week.
Fares would have increased by 23.93% per mile. Uber reportedly takes a 25 percent commission from drivers.
Uber is using bots built by Cartken to deliver UberEats orders in parts of Miami, Florida. The bots use Cartken’s artificial intelligence (AI) and camera-based navigation and mapping technology
Regardless, ride bots seem to be the way of the future, with many companies looking to bots and delivery bots.
Uber has been experimenting with robotics since May, first rolling out technologies made by Serve Robotics in Los Angeles, San Diego and Dubai.
Now, the transportation giant has teamed up with Cartken, which used its robots on the Ohio State University campus in June.
Kartken bots Navigate sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian paths within the campus area without human guidance.
The robots use Cartken’s artificial intelligence (AI) and camera-based navigation and mapping technology, which the company has developed for small autonomous vehicles, to work safely around pedestrians.
Human override remains an option if required – for example, when a route is blocked – ensuring reliable operation and reducing delivery delays.
Cartken robots run at up to three miles per hour and handle various weather conditions, including rain and snow.
The delivery bots will first deliver items in Miami-Dade County’s Dadeland area and then expand to other cities in 2023.
Christian Birch, Co-Founder and CEO at Cartken, said in a statement statementWe’re excited about how this partnership with Uber will bring the benefits of robotics to food delivery – and ultimately create more connected communities.
“Together, we have the opportunity to reduce traffic congestion, help local merchants increase delivery capacity, and offer consumers fast, convenient, and zero-emission shipments.”
The partnership could be a way to get rid of human drivers as Uber begins to feel pressure from officials and its workers to increase wage rates.
However, the pressure was eased after Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron issued an order halting the increase.
Delivery bots will first transport items in the Dadeland area of Miami-Dade County and then expand to other cities in 2023.
But arguments in a case are scheduled to be heard on January 31.
Uber says if it increases by 7.42 percent per minute and 23.93 percent per mile, it will have to pay up to $23 million more per month and raise fares by 10 percent.
“We are disappointed for the tens of thousands of drivers who have once again been forced to bear the mounting costs of inflation on their own, without any help from the multi-billion dollar company they work for,” TLC Commissioner David Doe said in a statement. .
“We will vigorously defend this important standard for our drivers.”
“Drivers are doing a critical job and deserve to be paid fairly, but fares must be calculated in a transparent, consistent and predictable way,” said Uber spokesman Freddie Goldstein.
#Uber #unleashes #selfdriving #robots #Miami #deliver #food