"While self-driving cars remove the driver, robotic delivery eliminates the car itself and makes deliveries sustainable and accessible to all," said Dr. Ali Kashani, co-founder and CEO of the robotics startup business. "Over the next two decades, new mobility robots will enter every aspect of our lives—first moving food, then everything else."
In a press release from the newly formed startup company, the business reported that it has already closed its first funding round led by venture capital firm Neo, alongside other investors, including Uber, Long Journey Ventures, Western Technology Investment, and others. The amount of funding raised during the round has yet to be released.
Autonomous Grocery Delivery
"We're excited for the potential of Serve robots to help our restaurant partners grow their business and find new convenient, safe, and reliable ways to reach customers," said Stephane Ficaja, Uber Eats General Manager of US and Canada.
The startup business originated from Postmates X, the division of the food delivery company responsible for the initial creation of the friendly Serve robot featured in Time’s Best Inventions 2019. Each electric robot is remotely monitored by a pilot and capable of delivering 50 pounds of cargo to its intended destination. The robotics company claims that the members of its fleet are capable of traversing 30 miles on one charge.
Now that the startup business stands as its own independent company, it will continue to pursue partnerships with businesses looking to tap into the robotic food delivery service, in addition to improving and expanding its existing fleet.
According to the startup company, almost half of restaurant deliveries within the US span a distance covered by a 40-minute walk. Thus, the business believes that it is more cost-effective and efficient to deploy the sidewalk delivery units instead of a driver in a regular delivery vehicle.
Automating the Delivery Industry
Serve Robotics is not the only company seeking to automate its delivery platform. Amazon is continuing to work on implementing its autonomous drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, as well as its land delivery robot fleet, the Amazon Scouts. Still, other companies like startup Robomart are using self-driving cars to bring the store to consumers. Market research projects the delivery robot market to reach $34 billion by 2024.
About the Author
James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a B.S. in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.