Food delivery service DoorDash is teaming up with Marble to implement a pilot project that will use robots to bring food items to customers. This project will utilize robots developed by Marble to transport food materials from several participating shops across the City of San Francisco to customers who ordered these items through DoorDash's applications. Workers in these shops will receive the order from the delivery service and place the finished products inside the cargo bay of the delivery robot. The robot will then proceed to the location of the customer who made the order. The person, by that time, will have received a text message containing an access code. The code will be used to open the doors of the robot's cargo bay and retrieve the food.
This is not the first time that both companies participated in an experimental food transport project. DoorDash has previously collaborated with Starship Technologies, an Estonia-based autonomous delivery robot manufacturer, to deliver food products in select locations in the United States. On the other hand, Marble has also worked with Yelp's Eat24 food delivery service in another pilot project in San Francisco. It is likely the DoorDash will also work with more companies within the next few months as its co-founder, Stanley Tang, has mentioned that his firm will continue testing more ways to deliver food to its customers. Aside from robots, it is also looking at electric bikes and drones as other cost-effective ways to transport materials.
Marble's robots utilize a wide array of sensors and high-resolution 3D maps of cities in order to safely and quickly deliver the cargo that it carries. Despite the advanced technology incorporated into these miniature vehicles, the deliveries will still be monitored by a human nearby to ensure the public safety and proper delivery of products. Other than Marble and Starship Technologies, more companies are getting involved in developing and testing drones and automated vehicles for delivering cargo. One of the more prominent examples is Amazon, which has been testing delivery drones since last year. Meanwhile, Google is developing a navigation platform for drones that will allow a single operator to manage a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles.