Uber Eats launches robot delivery in Miami with Cartken

Cartken’s six-wheeled rovers will handle grocery and restaurant orders for the delivery company, with more cities to come.
Uber Eats-Cartken
Uber Eats will use robots like these to make grocery deliveries in Miami. / Photo courtesy: Uber

Uber Eats customers in Miami will now be able to have their groceries dropped off by a robot.

The company is partnering with Cartken, a maker of six-wheeled, autonomous sidewalk rovers, to make unmanned restaurant and grocery deliveries in the city starting Thursday.

Select businesses in Miami’s Dadeland area will be included in the program, which will expand to other parts of Miami-Dade County and additional cities next year. The companies didn’t say how many restaurants or robots will be involved.

Customers will be instructed to meet their delivery robot outside and will be able to unlock their meal using their phone.  

It’s the latest foray into robotic delivery for Uber, which earlier this year launched autonomous delivery with Serve and Motional bots in Los Angeles and with Nuro vehicles in Houston and Mountain View, California.

Using robots instead of humans to deliver food could help keep costs down. It could also be better for the environment. Uber Eats has indicated that it has big plans for the technology.

“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,” said Noah Zych, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber, in a statement.

Robot delivery has taken off in particular on college campuses. For Oakland-based Cartken, the Miami partnership is its first with a delivery company outside of a campus. 

“Together, we have the opportunity to reduce traffic congestion, help local merchants to increase delivery capacity, and bring consumers fast, convenient, and emission-free deliveries,” said Christian Bersch, co-founder and CEO of Cartken, in a statement.

This story was originally published in WGB sister publication Restaurant Business. 



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