Uber Eats is launching a delivery service in Japan with CartCan’s sidewalk robots


Uber, with partner Mitsubishi Electric and autonomous robotics startup CartCan, is launching a service in Japan that will use self-driving sidewalk robots to deliver food to customers.

The companies announced that the service, offered through the Uber Eats app, will launch in a select part of Tokyo by the end of March. An Uber spokesperson said hours of operation would be disclosed closer to the launch date.

Uber and CartCan, a startup founded in 2019 by former Google engineers behind the short-lived Bookbot, already operate a delivery service together in Fairfax, Virginia, and Miami. This latest deal marks their first foray outside the United States. It also brings in Mitsubishi Electric, a company that will oversee operations in Tokyo.

CartCan’s autonomous sidewalk robot, known as Model C, will be used for the delivery service. robot, which is equipped with a The insulated 27-liter cargo bin travels at approximately 3.3 mph. The robot is loaded with sensors like cameras and advanced software that helps it explore, perceive, and ultimately navigate its environment. CartCan also has a system that allows workers to remotely monitor and guide the robot when needed. According to an Uber spokesperson, CartCan’s teleoperation interface will be used by Mitsubishi Electric employees who are trained in CartCan’s remote guidance system.

Shoji Tanaka, senior general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s Advanced Application Development Center, said that robot delivery is an effective solution to the logistics crisis that will become more serious in the future.

“We hope this newly announced initiative will serve as a catalyst for the proliferation of robot delivery services in Japan,” Tanaka said. “In the future, we will work with buildings and factory infrastructure, which is one of our strengths, so autonomous robots will be able to work inside different facilities.”

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