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Phoenix tests robotaxi food delivery becoming ‘reality’

Your favorite takeout could soon be delivered by a self-driving car as Uber Eats launches a fully autonomous food delivery test in Phoenix.

A year ago, Waymo and Uber established a multi-year strategic partnership aimed at making Waymo Driver available to more people through the Uber platform.

As of April 3, this is possible, with fully autonomous vehicles able to make deliveries within a radius of more than 225 square miles in the Phoenix area.

The car company, formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project, describes itself as creating “the world’s most experienced drivers.” Someone who “never gets drunk, never gets tired, never gets distracted.”

This new delivery method isn’t as easy as simply opening the door of a burrito in the delivery man’s hand, though, because when the car arrives, you have to step outside and follow instructions to pick up your order.

While whoever sees a human and who doesn’t is lucky, you can choose not to use a self-driving car if you wish, and instead opt for a human courier to deliver the goods.

Just seven months ago, the two parties collaborated to launch a ride-hailing service through Uber. Phoenix residents have been able to request self-driving elevators without a human driver behind the wheel.

As of the official announcement, more than 10,000 rides are being completed using this method each week.

Are other companies focused on driverless cars?

In the modern world, new technologies appear seemingly every other month, leaving many companies feeling the heat of the technology race and the need for advancement.

While Waymo and Uber are working to advance their partnership, Apple’s self-driving car plans have been scrapped.

Just this month it was discovered that more than 600 jobs will be cut as a result of the abandonment of these plans.

The layoffs will mainly affect workers at the iPhone maker’s California factory, where the company is cautiously working on making electric vehicles. 614 employees are expected to be laid off in May.

Others are turning their attention to flight capabilities, with one SpaceX-backed company, Alef Aeronautics, receiving nearly 3,000 pre-orders for its two-seat “car” in March. Production of the first car is planned to be completed by the end of 2025.

Featured image: From Waymo press release

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