NewsUber Eats to introduce autonomous robot deliveries in Tokyo via partnership with Mitsubishi Electric and Cartken

Uber Eats to introduce autonomous robot deliveries in Tokyo via partnership with Mitsubishi Electric and Cartken

Robots used in Miami
Robots used in Miami
Images source: © Getty Images | Miami Herald

10:56 AM EST, February 21, 2024

Uber has unveiled a new partnership with robotic company Cartken and Japanese industrial powerhouse Mitsubishi Electric. This partnership aims to deploy autonomous sidewalk robots, set to begin delivering Uber Eats orders in designated areas of Tokyo as early as March.

Autonomous robots are commonplace in Tokyo

Japan is set to be the first international market to introduce autonomous deliveries via the Uber Eats platform. However, this isn't Japan's first tryst with robotic technology in the culinary sector. Many well-known restaurant chains in the country have employed robots for customer service for many years.

The designated robots for this operation are the Cartken Model C models. These autonomous devices will traverse the sidewalks of Tokyo, with their operations directly supervised by Mitsubishi Electric, a key component of the new partnership. The Cartken Model C robots utilize pioneering technologies such as artificial intelligence and computer vision to navigate their surroundings.

Autonomous robots designed to avoid obstacles

The sidewalk robots are ingeniously designed to circumnavigate obstacles, yield to pedestrians, and stop at traffic lights. They travel at roughly the same pace as an adult pedestrian. According to CNN, they are outfitted with a specialized cargo basket designed to maintain an optimal food temperature during transportation.

CNN also highlights that the collaboration between Uber Eats and Cartken to initiate autonomous food delivery via robots was first tested in some parts of Miami in 2022. Last year, this initiative was extended to include robot deliveries in Fairfax, Virginia.

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