US cities, Redwood City and Washington, D.C to experience robotic delivery with major industry partners in the coming months
Starship Technologies, the company building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver goods locally, today announced the launch of US pilots with industry leading partners, DoorDashand Postmates. Starship robots will begin food deliveries with DoorDash in Redwood City, CA and Postmates in Washington, D.C.
Postmates and DoorDash are leading the on-demand delivery industry in the United States, completing millions of deliveries every year across multiple cities.
“DoorDash and Postmates are championing on-demand local delivery, sharing Starship’s vision to save customers time and money” said Ahti Heinla, CEO and Co-Founder Starship Technologies.
“With DoorDash’s goal of building the local logistics layer for every city, we have a clear shared passion with Starship for revolutionizing last mile delivery,” said Stanley Tang, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at DoorDash. “By adding robots as a complement to the tens of thousands of Dashers who use the DoorDash platform, we’ll be able to better delight customers with faster, more convenient deliveries. While other companies trying to play catch up in the delivery space either ignore the law or chase ideas like drones that lack the infrastructure to implement, we’re excited to be bringing autonomous deliveries to customers in weeks rather than years.”
“We’re very excited about robotics and how we can better utilize the technology to enhance our already strong delivery fleet,” said Holger Luedorf, Senior Vice President, Business at Postmates. “We know there is still a long way to go, but we’re excited to team up with Starship on this pilot program and see how the robots are received by our customers and merchant partners.”
Starship recently announced $17.2 million (€16.5 mil.) in seed funding, led by Mercedes-Benz Vans, along with Shasta Ventures, Matrix Partners, ZX Ventures, Morpheus Ventures, Grishin Robotics, Playfair Capital and a number of other investors. The funding accelerates the development of the US pilot programs in Redwood City and Washington, D.C.
This announcement follows the launch of partnerships in the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia with Just Eat, Hermes Parcel Delivery, Media Markt, Swiss Post and Wolt. Last year, Starship worked with Washington D.C. to gain approval for the Personal Delivery Device Act. The unanimous approval of the act, allows the operation of Starship robots on sidewalks and crosswalks. Testing commenced in Washington, D.C, Redwood City, California and Fayetteville, Arkansas earlier in 2016.