Motional and Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) announced a partnership to launch autonomous deliveries for Uber customers, starting in Santa Monica in early 2022. Motional’s all-electric vehicles will conduct deliveries of a curated set of meal kits from select restaurants on Uber Eats. The partnership represents industry-shaping firsts for both companies; Motional’s expansion into driverless delivery and Uber’s firston-roaddelivery partnership with an autonomous vehicle (AV) technology provider.
Motional will use its next-generation autonomous vehicle, the all-electric Hyundai IONIQ 5-based robotaxi, with in-vehicle modifications in place to enable autonomous deliveries. This will be the first time Motional’s SAE Level 4 vehicles are used for delivery applications, and signals the company’s evolution to a dual-purpose product strategy.
“Today, Motional enters the autonomous delivery market,” said Karl Iagnemma, Motional’s President and CEO. “We’re proud that our first delivery partner is Uber and are eager to begin using our trusted driverless technology to offer efficient and convenient deliveries to customers in California. We’re confident this will be a successful collaboration with Uber and see many long-term opportunities for further deploying Motional’s technology across the Uber platform.”
“We’re excited to partner with Motional to test a new kind of delivery for Uber Eats consumers in 2022,” said Sarfraz Maredia, VP and Head of Uber Eats in the US & Canada. “Our consumers and merchant partners have come to expect convenience, reliability and innovation from Uber, and this collaboration represents a huge opportunity to meet —and exceed— those expectations.”
Partnership Brings Together Two Industry Leaders
Motional is a driverless technology company making autonomous vehicles a safe, reliable, and accessible reality. The company formed in 2020 as a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Group, one of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers offering smart mobility solutions, and Aptiv, a global industrial technology leader in advanced safety, electrification, and vehicle connectivity.
Uber Eats delivers instant access to local commerce, helping people across the world discover restaurants and merchants, order meals, groceries, alcohol, and more at the touch of a button—and get it delivered reliably and quickly. The business leverages Uber’s technology and logistics expertise to partner with 780,000 merchants in 6,000+ cities globally, while keeping average delivery time under 30 minutes.
The partners see autonomous vehicles (AVs) playing an important role in the on-demand delivery ecosystem, with AVs helping to increase access to convenient and affordable deliveries. Motional and Uber look forward to sharing more service details ahead of launch next year.