This is Uber Eats' first collaboration with a self-driving vehicle company and also the first time when Motional’s fleet is being used to transport commercial goods, so the Ioniq 5 EVs that will do the job have been modified to better adapt to autonomous deliveries.
As this is still a pilot program, Uber and Motional have the opportunity to see how their respective technologies integrate and see how customers interact with self-driving vehicles to determine if additional autonomy features need to be incorporated.
The companies have done extensive testing in the Los Angeles area for the pilot and plan to gather customer feedback to then create an autonomous food delivery model that would be scaled to more areas outside Los Angeles.
“Autonomous delivery signifies the next phase of Motional’s commercial roadmap,” Motional COO Abe Ghabra stated. “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.”
Curious how the service works? Allow me to enlighten you: marketers who receive Uber Eats orders will be notified when the autonomous Ioniq 5 is at the set pick-up location and they will place the customer’s order in a specially-designed compartment of the EV. The client will also receive a notification when the delivery arrives and they will be able to unlock the vehicle via the Uber Eats app and collect their order. Child’s play, right?