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Uber Technologies Inc. plans to launch a driverless food-delivery pilot program in the U.S. next year, the company announced Dec. 16.
The ride-hailing giant is partnering with Motional Inc., an autonomous driving joint venture between Hyundai Motor Co. and Aptiv Plc., to test Uber Eats deliveries in California. The pilot, which is Uber’s first foray into driverless deliveries, will be rolled out in Santa Monica to customers ordering from the Uber Eats app.
Rideshare competitor Lyft Inc. also teamed up with Motional to test self-driving taxi rides in Las Vegas and expects customers will be able to use its app to hail autonomous vehicles starting in 2023.
“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,” Sarfraz Maredia, vice president and head of Uber Eats in the U.S. and Canada, said in a statement.
Last year Uber sold its self-driving car division to Aurora Innovation Inc. and took a stake in the startup, pulling back from its vision for a fleet of autonomous taxis.
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