Delivery robots offer potential sustainability advantages, such as mitigating air pollution, in comparison to car-based delivery services, according to Serve, as stated in a press release. Additionally, robotic fulfillment has the potential to enhance the efficiency of last-mile delivery. However, the widespread deployment of delivery bots may encounter obstacles due to legal issues arising from varying state and local regulations concerning factors like maximum weight and speed limits for robots, as well as other safety considerations.
Serve’s co-founder and CEO, Ali Kashani, expressed the significance of the partnership, stating, “This collaboration represents a significant stride toward the widespread adoption of robotics for autonomous delivery.”
Uber Eats has been actively exploring different options for delivery robotics. In December, the delivery industry leader initiated a partnership with Cartken to conduct robot tests in Miami, Florida. Last month, the partnership was extended to encompass certain regions in Virginia.
Since securing $13 million in funding through a funding round in December 2021, Serve has been forming partnerships with various brands and retailers to pilot its robotic delivery services. In January, Serve and 7-Eleven commenced robot delivery tests in West Hollywood. Furthermore, last July, Serve and Piestro announced their joint plan to trial robotic delivery from Piestro automated kiosks in undisclosed markets.
At the time of reporting, Uber Eats and Serve Robotics had not provided immediate responses to inquiries regarding the specific markets covered by the commercial agreement, as well as the regulatory challenges and purported sustainability benefits associated with delivery robots.