- Uber Eats has expanded its partnership with autonomous robotics company Cartken to offer food delivery via bots in Fairfax, Virginia, Uber Eats wrote in an email to Restaurant Dive.
- The technology will be available for food delivery with select merchants within the Mosaic District, a shopping and dining district in Fairfax owned by Edens, which includes over 40 restaurants.
- The initial pilot in Fairfax will run through April 2024 and could be extended under a multi-year partnership, an Uber spokesperson said in an email.
The expansion into Virginia follows the launch of Uber Eats’ Cartken relationship in Miami in December. This deal marked Cartken’s first partnership outside of college campuses.
“We’re pleased with the positive consumer response in Miami and are confident that Fairfax is the next best city to expand our partnership,” the spokesperson said.
Starting Thursday, autonomous bots will offer food delivery from restaurants including Our Mom Eugenia, Pupatella and Rasa, the company said. Cartken’s bots have a cargo capacity of 1.5 cubic feet, or roughly two grocery bags, and can travel at speeds between three and six miles per hour.
Uber Eats has been exploring different autonomous delivery options within the past year. In September, it signed a 10-year deal with Nuro to offer food delivery in Houston and Mountain View, California, with plans to scale the service to the greater Bay Area. It also partnered with Serve Robotics to test short-range delivery and Motional to test longer range autonomous vehicle delivery in Los Angeles last year.