Uber Technologies, a leader in ride-sharing, has announced a long-term relationship with Nuro, a maker of autonomous vehicles, whose zero-occupant electric vehicles will transport food to Uber Eats customers across the US. The ten-year agreement will begin in California and Texas this fall before expanding to other states.
The Pioneers of the Rideshare Revolution
Uber Technologies, the pioneers of the rideshare revolution that began more than ten years ago, continues to develop and adapt to a world that prioritizes lowering carbon emissions and instant gratification, such as getting burgers delivered to your front door when you are too drunk to walk three blocks or soup when you’re ill.
Although it began as a black car service to compete with the less pleasant taxi experience at the time, Uber has evolved into a mobility technology giant, offering various rideshare services, including Uber Pet, Uber Green, and Uber Eats for groceries and food deliveries.
Regarding Uber Eats, the company has already been providing food delivery to Southern Californians as part of a pilot program with robotaxi service company Motional, a joint venture between Aptiv and Hyundai Motor Group that uses autonomous IONIQ 5 EVs. Since May, the two businesses have been testing Uber Eats deliveries and evaluating customer feedback to collaborate on developing an autonomous food delivery model that could be scaled throughout Los Angeles and other cities.
Uber Eats is taking automated food deliveries further by eliminating the driver. Check out Nuro’s driverless delivery EV in the video below.
With Nuro’s Help, Uber Eats Can Deliver Food Autonomously
In a press release on September 8, 2022, Uber Technologies announced its latest move into autonomous transportation. The release explained how and why a ten-year partnership with Nuro benefits both companies. Nuro is a pioneer in its own right, having become the first full-autonomous car developer to operate in three different states (AZ, CA, TX).
Uber believes Nuro’s zero-occupant EVs can provide a sustainable solution for Uber Eats and beyond to support the expanding market for last-mile deliveries of groceries, food, and other products. To put that in perspective, the Uber Eats network now has 825,000 merchants across more than 11,000 cities worldwide.
Uber also made a respectable point: its new alliance is expected to benefit local businesses and commerce, several of which are still recovering from the pandemic’s restrictions.
Cosimo Leipold, head of partnerships at Nuro, added:
“Our partnership with Uber underscores Nuro’s track record of partnering with the world’s leading brands to make autonomous delivery a seamless experience. With our unique autonomous delivery vehicles and Uber’s unprecedented scale and reach, we can expand food delivery options from your favorite local mom-and-pop restaurants all the way to nationwide chains.”
The self-driving pilot launched in May this year near its office in Santa Monica, California. Although the vehicles are autonomous, the vehicles still had a driver behind the wheel for safety. However, the new rollout won’t require safety drivers, and the vehicles will be able to handle longer distance deliveries.
Uber Eats driverless deliveries are set to begin this fall in Mountain View, California, and Houston, Texas. Uber and Nuro say they have plans for expansion in the Bay Area. We should expect to see deliveries in Arizona someday, as it is the third state that permits Nuro’s autonomous EVs to operate. However, both companies still need to confirm that.