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Self-Driving Robots Achieve Level 4 Autonomy, Will Invade City Sidewalks

Serve Robotics, the Postmates spin-off robot department under Uber's wing has introduced its next-generation delivery robots capable of operating without human intervention. The fully-autonomous robots have already completed their first delivery, successfully navigating in the designated areas.
Serve delivery robot 7 photos
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The self-driving robots are the result of five years of research and development, and they represent a major advancement for delivery services. To create the next-gen robots with level 4 autonomy, Serve Robotics has worked on several features such as automated emergency braking, vehicle collision avoidance, and fail-safe mechanical braking.

Designed to resemble a futuristic shopping cart, the latest Serve robot developed by the company measures 31 inches (79 cm) in length and it's 26 inches (64-cm) wide and a height of 41" (105 cm).

It has a 50 lb (23 kg) storage capacity, and it can get around on four wheels with the help of its "eyes" (which are actually cameras). Together with active sensors such as lidar and ultrasonics, the robot can safely navigate on busy city sidewalks without bumping into pedestrians or objects.

Serve's technical breakthrough was possible with support from key tech partners, including NVIDIA and Ouster. The AI computing platform required for robots to perceive their diverse surroundings in real-time is powered by the NVIDIA Jetson, while the machines' self-driving capabilities are enabled by Ouster's 3D lidar sensors.

"I'm proud that Serve Robotics has achieved Level 4 autonomy, which further enhances public safety by significantly reducing the potential for human error. This milestone begins to unlock the full potential of robotic delivery," said Dr. Ali Kashani, Serve Robotics CEO.

To date, the company has successfully completed tens of thousands of deliveries in Los Angeles. Recently, its new robots also managed to carry out the first delivery at Level 4 autonomy, navigating in assigned areas. This year, Serve Robotics will cover other regions as well as it starts to roll its fleet of new robots.

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