Uber Eats to Deliver Your Food Delivery Bags in Tiny Robots

food delivery bags, food, delivery, bags,

Uber Eats, in partnership with Cartken and Mitsubishi Electronics, is introducing autonomous sidewalk delivery robots to deliver food delivery bags through Tokyo.

  • Autonomous sidewalk delivery robots will commence in selected Tokyo streets next month.
  • The robots are equipped with AI and computer vision technologies.

Uber Eats is bringing autonomous sidewalk delivery robots to the streets of Tokyo, in collaboration with Cartken and Mitsubishi Electronics.

Japan is well known for having automation everywhere, but especially in the hospitality sector. So, this collaboration, which joins a food delivery service, a robotics firm, and an electronics manufacturer, comes as no surprise.

The autonomous sidewalk robot deliveries will take to selected streets of Tokyo sometime next month. Uber Eats customers will experience an efficient food bag delivery experience. Through this, Japan will be the first to embrace autonomous deliveries through the Uber Eats platform.

Catken’s Model C robots are responsible for delivering food orders while safely navigating the busy streets of Tokyo. The engineers equipped the little guy with artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision technologies to make sure it managed to autonomously maneuver through an urban environment. The box on wheels has obstacle avoidance, pedestrian yield, and adherence to traffic signals. City people will know how absolutely obnoxious it is sometimes to move about in a city.

Anjali Jindal Naik, Cartken’s co-founder and COO, explained that they aim to “make [food delivery] more accessible and sustainable for consumers in Japan.” Meanwhile, Shoji Tanaka, Senior General Manager of the Advanced Application Development Center at Mitsubishi Electric, believes it will be “an effective countermeasure to the logistics crisis facing Japan.”

I just have one question: What took them so long?

You would have thought that these would come out when everyone was locked at home during the pandemic. Their timing right now seems odd. Of course, it is better for a bustling city to reduce foot traffic and take care of its elderly, but one would think they would capitalize on the fact that we were locked inside. People had two options, either cooking or food bag delivery. Heck, even if they wanted to cook, they had to order the ingredients. The company experienced a significant increase in revenue and user growth. That’s underselling the 152% increase in revenue between 2019 and 2020.

The food delivery market back then did get quite competitive, but a small robot that delivers food instead of a human risking their lives is a great selling point. Their slogan could have been “Save a Human, Have a Delivery Bot Deliver Your Food,” or something like that. Good thing I’m not a copywriter, huh?

Anyway, fingers crossed, nobody abuses those little robots like Los Angeles did.

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