A new autonomous rover will soon be roaming the sidewalks of Los Angeles, helping Postmates deliver items to shoppers.
The rover, called Serve, is expected to debut in Los Angeles and will roll out to other U.S. cities over the next 12 months. The internally developed robots, which have two front lights that look like eyes, can carry 50 pounds and travel 30 miles on one charge. Customers can interact with the robots via their touch screens and cameras.
The company spent the last couple of years researching delivery interactions to develop Serve. Postmates, along with DoorDash, previously piloted deliveries with Starship, which has similar small autonomous bots. It also partnered with Ford to test delivery via autonomous cars in Miami. The rovers will aid Postmates’ fleet of more than 350,000 delivery people.
The robots are designed to move small objects over short distances and move at walking speed. They also avoid traffic by navigating sidewalks. It is unclear if patrons will have to pay extra for Serve.
“We were able to use data to model how food and goods could move around cities even more efficiently,” Bastian Lehmann, Postmates co-founder and CEO, said in a release. ”Ultimately, we believe that goods should move through cities at nearly zero cost to consumers. ”Postmates is rolling out a new robot called Serve in cities across the U.S.[/caption]
While companies continue to explore autonomous delivery, reports of people attacking self-driving vehicles seem to be on the rise. In Arizona, people reportedly have slashed tires and pulled guns on human safety drivers riding in the autonomous vehicles, according to Business Insider. Meanwhile, California DMV records show residents in San Francisco reportedly have been attacking autonomous vehicles by bumping into and striking them, according to The Los Angeles Times.