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Uber Eats partners with EV maker Nuro for autonomous deliveries

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Uber is doubling down on its efforts to use autonomous vehicles for its delivery service.

The company today announced a 10-year partnership with Nuro, a manufacturer of autonomous electric vehicles. Uber Eats and Nuro will launch delivery offerings in Mountain View, California and Houston, Texas this fall, with plans to expand the service to the greater Bay Area later.

Uber turns to partnerships to bolster its presence in the autonomous region last mile delivery room. The company is testing the delivery of autonomous vehicles in Santa Monica through a deal with Motional. Uber spin-off Serve Robotics, which makes sidewalk delivery robots, is also collaborating with Uber Eats on a Pilot from Los Angeles.

An Uber spokesperson says: londonbusinessblog.com that it will continue to work with multiple third-party autonomous delivery companies instead of contracting with just one. “This third-party approach allows us to scale Uber’s delivery network, while partnering with leaders in the autonomous space,” the spokesperson said.

[Photo: courtesy of Uber]

Founded in 2016 by two former Waymo employees, Nuro’s autonomous vehicles are not your average car found on the road. The company built the bots specifically to carry food and other goods, and they don’t have room for people on board (or a steering wheel). However, the small vehicles are still driving on public roads, so third-party Nuro operators can patch in the vehicle and take control if necessary.

Food delivery companies have long been eyeing the use of autonomous vehicles and bots for last-mile delivery. DoorDash unveiled in 2021, for example ByDash Labs, its robotics and automation arm that operated in stealth for three years. Grubhub, owned by Just Eat Takeaway, also in June announced a collaboration with self-driving robotics startup Cartken to deliver goods to college campuses.

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