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Uber launches robot delivery service in Japan

Uber, in collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric and robotics startup Cartken, is launching a new service in Japan utilising self-driving sidewalk robots for food delivery. Set to debut in Tokyo by the end of March, this innovative venture aims to leverage autonomous technology to streamline delivery processes.

The service, accessible through the Uber Eats app, marks Uber and Cartken's expansion beyond the United States (where they already operate in Fairfax VA and Miami). Mitsubishi Electric will be overseeing operations in Tokyo, namely by using of Cartken’s own teleoperation interface.

Cartken and Mitsubishi have already been operating in Japan since 2022, in collaboration with other partners: Starbucks, Rakuten and supermarket chain Seiyu.

Image Credits: Uber Eats

Cartken's Model C robot, equipped with a 27-liter cargo bin and advanced sensors, will navigate sidewalks at 5.4 km per hour.

Mitsubishi Electric emphasises the significance of robot delivery in addressing future logistics challenges. Shoji Tanaka, senior general manager at Mitsubishi Electric, views this initiative as a catalyst for wider adoption of robot delivery services in Japan, hinting at potential applications within various facilities.

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This project is supported by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union. EIT Urban Mobility acts to accelerate positive change on mobility to make urban spaces more liveable.

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