Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies Inc. have 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.
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.
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.
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.
Abe Ghabra, Motional’s Chief Operating Officer, says: “Autonomous delivery signifies the next phase of Motional’s commercial roadmap. 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,” adds 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.”
Formed in 2020, Motional is a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group Aptiv, a global industrial technology leader in advanced safety, electrification, and vehicle connectivity.