Customers who order takeaway food using Just Eat could soon find their food being delivered by robots following the launch of a ground-breaking trial.
The company, the world’s leading digital marketplace for takeaway food delivery, has partnered with Starship Technologies to trial self-driving delivery robots on the streets of London.
Just Eat and Starship Technologies’ testing programme is expected to begin within the next few months and further details of the restaurants taking part in the trial will be announced shortly.
Starship Technologies, established in 2014 by the co-founders of Skype, has developed the robots to deliver food, packages and goods to consumers within a short radius of their point of origin. Customers will be sent a secure code to access their meals from the robots once they arrive.
Fernando Fanton, chief product & technology officer at Just Eat, said: “This is another example of how we are pushing technology boundaries to provide our customers and restaurant partners with more choice and flexibility. We’ve always been committed to offering our customers new ways to order and pay for their food and now we’re right at the heart of a new way of delivering food which is as exciting for us as it will be for those who find a robot on their doorstep.”
David Buttress, CEO of Just Eat, said: “As soon as we met the Starship team, we found their passion for their product infectious. With scalable innovation at the core of their business, they are the perfect partner for us at Just Eat as we continuously look for sustainable ways to use technology to make our customers’ and restaurant partners lives easier. We can’t wait to bring the delivery robots to local high streets very soon.”
The robots are designed to drive autonomously while being monitored by human operators in control centres who can take over at any time. Introduced to European and American cities since the end of last year, the robots have already driven close to 5,000 miles and met over 400,000 people without a single accident, using cameras, sensors and other technology to navigate their way through urban streets.
The trials announced today come as Just Eat is preparing to enhance the customer experience further by launching an industry-first group ordering experience on Apple TV, and its first smart TV app, initially with Amazon Fire TV.