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Serve Robotics Strikes Deal With Uber to Scale Up to Two Thousand Sidewalk Delivery Robots

Uber Technologies Inc. is gearing up for a robotic future, bolstering its partnership with Serve Robotics Inc., a maker of sidewalk delivery robots. Following a successful trial in Los Angeles, the companies announced they would deploy up to 2,000 of Serve’s delivery robots in multiple markets across the United States. The deal marks one of the largest robotic delivery fleet deployments ever announced.

According to Serve, the expansion follows a year of strong growth, which saw the startup’s robotic deliveries grow 30% month over month since their introduction in 2022. Serve says that they currently serve over 200 Los Angeles restaurants.

“We are thrilled to be growing our partnership with Uber,” said Dr. Ali Kashani, co-founder and CEO of Serve Robotics. “This partnership is a major step towards mass commercialization of robotics for autonomous delivery, and it is a testament to the success of our partnership. We are excited to continue our work with Uber to bring this innovative technology to more cities across the country.”

For Serve, fleet expansion is made easier by the higher utilization of their robots in the field resulting from their fleets serving more than one customer in a given market. In the Los Angeles market, for example, the company’s fleet of about 100 robots delivers for both UberEats and 7-Eleven.

According to the company, they are eyeing San Jose, Dallas and Vancouver for possible expansion and have also started working with Pizza Hut in Vancouver and Walmart in Arkansas.

Long term, it will be interesting to see how cities begin to accommodate growing sidewalk robot traffic. Some cities have banned them, while others have begun to classify them as pedestrians.