- Motional’s autonomous vehicles are now conducting end-to-end food deliveries on the Uber Eats network
- Launch represents Uber Eats’ first partnership with an autonomous vehicle company for this purpose
- Pilot lays the foundation for future initiatives between Motional and Uber
SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) today launched autonomous deliveries for Uber Eats customers in Santa Monica, California. Motional’s all-electric IONIQ 5 vehicles, operating autonomously, are now conducting end-to-end food deliveries.
“Autonomous delivery signifies the next phase of Motional’s commercial roadmap,” said Abe Ghabra, Motional’s Chief Operating Officer. “This service will provide the learnings and experience needed to make Motional the trusted AV provider for on-demand delivery networks. We’re proud to partner with Uber on this important milestone and begin introducing Uber Eats customers to autonomous technology.”
“At Uber, we’re always looking for ways to use new technology to help consumers go anywhere and get anything,” said Noah Zych, Global GM for Uber’s Autonomous Mobility and Delivery business. “We’re thrilled to begin piloting with Motional in California and are eager to see how their promising autonomous technology will begin to change how people and goods move throughout the world for the better.”
Motional and Uber’s First-of-its-Kind Partnership
Motional and Uber announced their partnership in December of last year, signaling important firsts for both companies: the first on-road autonomous vehicle (AV) pilot on the Uber Eats network and Motional’s entry into the autonomous delivery market. Motional and Uber see an opportunity for AVs to benefit the on-demand delivery space by providing safe, cost efficient, and reliable deliveries.
The companies look forward to learning from the service and receiving customer feedback, as they jointly develop an automated delivery model that could quickly scale to more areas across Los Angeles and in other cities. The goal of the pilot is to create the groundwork for future commercial activities between Motional and Uber.
The Autonomous Delivery Experience
The Motional IONIQ 5 vehicles used in the service have been adapted to enable autonomous deliveries. While Motional has extensive experience moving passengers, this is the company’s first time transporting commercial goods. To prepare, its teams have spent months studying every touchpoint between the restaurant and end-customer, and conducted extensive testing in the Los Angeles area.
Participating merchants will receive a notification when the AV arrives, meet the vehicle at the designated pick-up location, and place the order in a specially-designed compartment in the backseat. Upon arrival at the drop-off location, the customer will receive an alert, securely unlock the vehicle door via the Uber Eats app, and collect their order from the backseat.
The service will allow Motional and Uber to study the integration of their technologies, consumer demand, the user interactions with the AV, and additional autonomy features needed to enable autonomous deliveries. These factors are critical for a seamless customer experience and will also help inform broader applications of Motional’s AV fleet. Uber sees AVs playing a long-term role on its platform, across a variety of use cases, and plans to be an accelerator in bringing this innovative technology to its customers.
Motional is a driverless technology company making autonomous vehicles a safe, reliable, and accessible reality. The company formed in 2020 as a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group, one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers offering smart mobility solutions, and Aptiv, a global industrial technology leader in advanced safety, electrification, and vehicle connectivity.
The Motional team has driven some of the driverless industry’s largest leaps forward, including the first fully-autonomous cross-country drive in the U.S, the launch of the world’s first robotaxi pilot, and operation of the world’s most-established public robotaxi fleet which has conducted over 100,000 public rides.
Motional is developing and commercializing SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles for ride-hail and delivery applications.
About Uber Eats
Uber Eats is an on-demand app and website that helps bring millions of people around the world the things they want, at the tap of a button. We partner with over 780,000 restaurants and merchants in more than 11,000 cities across six continents. From specialty local favorites to national brand names, groceries to household essentials and more, Uber Eats has what you want when you want it—with an average global delivery time of 30 minutes.
Rod Washington: Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He also produces news and documentary video projects. Check out his podcast StoriesThisMoment at https://m3e.d71.myftpupload.com/stm-tncn-podcasts/