postmates, has introduced an autonomous delivery robot to its team called serve that will soon roam the sidewalks of los angeles. the friendly-faced rover can carry 50 pounds of cargo, has a range of 30 miles, and will help the food and grocery delivery company handle around a dozen deliveries per day. 

 

 

postmates aim is to be able to make deliveries more efficient by avoiding traffic and traveling on the sidewalk. it hopes to cut out the emissions of the cars and motorcycles that many of its’ 350,000 couriers currently use. in addition to that it wants to make delivery services both easier and more accessible for local businesses.

 

serve was built to respect cities, meet customer demands, and help local businesses sell even more‘, say postmates. ‘at its core, serve embodies our vision for the future of delivery. But that also comes with our own set of principles.’

 

 

using velodyne lidar, cameras and advanced sensors, serve creates a virtual picture of the world in real time. postmates claims it can safely move alongside pedestrians at walking speed and navigate obstacles such as fire hydrants. however, a human operator is always on standby to take over if needed. serve has a help button and a touchscreen for video chat. it uses a light ring situated on the top of the robot which signals its intentions.

 

postmates will initially launch the serve in LA before it rolls the rover out in key cities across the US in the next 12 months. pricing of these autonomous deliveries has not been confirmed, but postmates has said that it intends to make this high-tech service as affordable as possible for customers.

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