The instant delivery firm and the robotics company began operating this service with select merchants Thursday (Dec. 15) and plan to expand it to additional cities in 2023, Uber said in a Thursday press release.
“Miami is a thriving Uber Eats market and we are excited to bring its residents a little more Uber magic through sidewalk robot delivery,” Noah Zych, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber, said in the release. “Our partnership with Cartken marks another important milestone for our efforts in automated and autonomous technology and will provide greater reliability and affordability to Miami merchants and consumers.”
Cartken’s self-driving, artificial intelligence (AI)-powered, sidewalk delivery robots are already used for neighborhood food and grocery delivery, campus meal delivery and curbside pickup across the country. The partnership with Uber Eats will be their first use with a delivery app outside college campuses, according to the press release.
These sidewalk delivery robots can help reduce traffic congestion, increase local merchants’ delivery capacity and provide consumers with fast, convenient deliveries, Cartken Co-founder and CEO Christian Bersch said in the release.
“We are excited about how this partnership with Uber will bring the advantages of robotics to food delivery — and ultimately create more connected communities,” Bersch said in the release.
Uber Eats leverages Uber’s technology and logistics expertise to offer reliable, quick delivery at the touch of a button, and it partners with 870,000 merchants in 11,000 cities around the world, according to the press release.
PYMNTS research has found that a sizeable share of consumers order delivery regularly. In fact, about one in three reported that they had ordered from a restaurant aggregator such as Uber Eats or DoorDash in the previous 30 days, according to “Digital Divide: Regional Variations in US Food Ordering Trends and Digital Adoption,” a PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration.
Moreover, restaurants that meet consumers’ demand for delivery outperform their non-delivering counterparts. Ninety-seven percent of top- and middle-performing restaurants offer delivery, while only two-thirds of bottom performers do the same, according to the 2022 edition of the “Restaurant Friction Index,” another PYMNTS and Paytronix collaboration.