Uber Eats Launches Robotic Food Delivery in Miami

The company has partnered with Cartken to use automated, sidewalk robots to bring customers their orders.

December 19, 2022

MIAMI—Uber Eats is now using automated, self-driving robots to deliver food orders in Miami. The company has partnered with Cartken, a leading robotics company, for the service.

Uber is using the robots for select merchants in the Dadeland area of Miami-Dade County with plans to expand in Miami-Dade and to additional cities in 2023.

Cartken's AI-powered sidewalk delivery robots currently are used for neighborhood food and grocery delivery, campus meal delivery and curbside pickup across the country.

"We are excited about how this partnership with Uber will bring the advantages of robotics to food delivery—and ultimately create more connected communities," said Christian Bersch, co-founder and CEO at Cartken. "Together, we have the opportunity to reduce traffic congestion, help local merchants to increase delivery capacity, and bring consumers fast, convenient and emission-free deliveries."

Uber says the partnership with Cartken is an expansion of its efforts to use automated and autonomous technology to unlock greater innovation for consumers and merchant partners in Miami and beyond.

"Miami is a thriving Uber Eats market, and we are excited to bring its residents a little more Uber magic through sidewalk robot delivery," said Noah Zych, global head of autonomous mobility and delivery at Uber. "Our partnership with Cartken marks another important milestone for our efforts in automated and autonomous technology and will provide greater reliability and affordability to Miami merchants and consumers."

Grubhub recently partnered with two sidewalk robotic companies for food delivery on college campuses. Grubhub partnered with Starship Technologies to provide robot deliveries at the University of Kentucky, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Wayne State University, Southern Methodist University and Fairfield University. Grubhub also partnered with Kiwibot for robot deliveries at the University of North Dakota and will roll out the service to additional schools next semester.

Automation is becoming a way for businesses to navigate the labor shortage and increase production. Love’s Travel Stops opened the Jamba by Blendid autonomous robotic kiosk at two California locations. The self-operating kiosk allows customers to customize their smoothie orders by adjusting ingredient quantities or adding boosts directly through the Blendid app. They can order on-site or schedule a preferred pickup time in advance via the mobile app.

Miso Robotics’ Flippy 2 robot is automating the process of deep-frying potatoes, onion rings and other foods, which can help speed up drive-thru times for fast-food restaurants.

Earlier this year, Panera Bread tested an automated coffee machine by Miso Robotics in two locations that use AI to monitor coffee volume and temperature. Data collected by the machines allow Panera to analyze what kind of coffee its customers enjoy most and when.

More insights on last-mile solutions was captured in the NACS Magazine feature, “Robots Deliver.” NACS also explored AI and machine learnings applications for the c-store industry, especially in foodservice, in “Welcome to an Intelligent 2022” in the January 2022 issue.