- Uber Technologies has partnered with Cartken to provide automated delivery robots in Miami, the companies said in an email to Restaurant Dive Thursday.
- Starting Thursday, bots will service select merchant deliveries in the Dadeland area of Miami-Dade County. The companies plan to expand further in the county, as well as into additional cities, next year.
- Uber Eats will be Cartken’s first formal, global third-party delivery partner outside of college campuses. Cartken previously partnered with Grubhub to deliver across several college campuses.
Uber Eats sees autonomous vehicles as an increasingly important part of transportation and delivery. Instead of developing AVs itself, it has chosen to bring AV operators into its network, the company said in an email to Restaurant Dive.
The company previously partnered with Motional and Serve Robotics to offer autonomous delivery in Southern California. In September, Uber Eats entered a 10-year agreement with Nuro to use Nuro’s AVs for food deliveries in Houston and Mountain View, California.
“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,” Noah Zych, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber, said in a statement.
Miami is a large market for Uber Eats, making this an ideal area to test another automated delivery service. Cartken’s fleets vary by size, and the company generally doesn’t disclose the specific number of bots it deploys, Uber Eats said. Cartken’s bots have a cargo capacity of 1.5 cubic feet, the equivalent of two full paper grocery bags. The robots’ speeds range from three to six miles per hour depending on the environment, according to Uber Eats.