December 16, 2021
Motional, which develops driverless technology, and Uber Technologies have announced a partnership to launch autonomous deliveries for Uber customers. The service will start in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2022, and will use Motional’s electric vehicles to conduct deliveries of a curated set of meal kits from select restaurants on Uber Eats.
The partnership will represent firsts for both companies: Motional’s expansion into the driverless delivery space, and Uber’s first on-road delivery partnership with an autonomous vehicle technology provider (Uber has done pilots with drone delivery and small robotic delivery providers).
Motional said it will use the all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based robotaxi with in-vehicle modifications in place to enable autonomous deliveries. Motional said the delivery application will signal its evolution into a dual-purpose product strategy.
“Today, Motional enters the autonomous delivery market,” said Karl Iagnemma, president and CEO of Motional. “We’re proud that our first delivery partner is Uber and are eager to begin using our trusted driverless technology to offer efficient and convenient deliveries to customers in California. We’re confident that this will be a successful collaboration with Uber and see many long-term opportunities for further deploying Motional’s technology across the Uber platform.”
“We’re excited to partner with Motional to test a new kind of delivery for Uber Eats customers in 2022,” said Sarfaz Maredia, vice president and head of Uber Eats in the U.S. and Canada. “Our consumers and merchant partners have come to expect convenience, reliability and innovation from Uber, and this collaboration represents a huge opportunity to meet – and exceed – those expectations.”
The two companies said they see AVs playing an important role in the on-demand delivery ecosystem, with the vehicles helping to increase access to convenient and affordable deliveries. They said they will share more service details ahead of the 2022 launch.
For more information about Motional’s driverless technology, visit its website here.