Forget delivery drones.
DoorDash and Postmates are taking the autonomous delivery robot race on the road.
Because this weekend, Redwood, California and Washington D.C. will become the first two locales to welcome the most adorable self-driving delivery robots in the game. Starship Technologies — in partnership with DoorDash and Postmates — is rolling out a miniature fleet of semi-autonomous bots in for a series of trial runs.
Topping out at 4 MPH, the six-wheeled robot can carry more than 40 pounds and deliver within a two-mile radius while being overseen by a human operator who is checking on them remotely.
Despite the amount of weight they can hold, the bots aren’t physically large enough to carry pizzas and won’t carry alcohol for obvious reasons, restrictions that are partially by design.
Food Delivery Robots (4 images)
“Bikers can go through traffic easier but they can’t carry four pizzas. Cars are better for large catering orders,” DoorDash spokesman Eitan Bencuya told Quartz. “These robots are good for the small orders lots of dashers avoid, because they make more money on bigger deliveries.”
Deliveries are expected to take between 15–30 minutes — tip and delivery fee not required.