Robots Are About to Start Delivering Food in California

March 21, 2017, 2:15 PM UTC

The on-demand restaurant delivery service DoorDash will begin using robots to deliver food this week, following an extensive trial period.

Last January, DoorDash, as well as the courier service Postmates, announced a partnership with the robotic delivery developer Starship Technologies. Both startups began testing robot deliveries using Starship Technologies’ ground-based, semi-autonomous robots, with DoorDash conducting trials in Redwood City, Calif. Now DoorDash is ready to roll out six delivery robots for use in California on Thursday, with plans to expand across the United States, BuzzFeed reports. They will reporedly transport food from restaurants to customers for journeys that are between one and two miles.

“Dashers”— DoorDash’s human couriers — will not be phased out. “We’ve found that the robots are better suited to the smaller, short-distance orders that Dashers often avoid, thereby freeing up Dashers to fulfil the bigger and more complex deliveries that often result in more money for them,” DoorDash co-founder and chief product officer Stanley Tang told BuzzFeed.

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