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DoorDash, Cruise test autonomous food delivery in new partnership

DoorDash, Cruise to test self-driving delivery at restaurants, grocers

Through a new partnership, Cruise and DoorDash will be testing autonomous deliveries in San Francisco. According to a joint announcement by the companies, the program is set to begin early this year. DoorDash aims to test autonomous deliveries for getting food and groceries from the merchants that it serves. Chipotle, Naf Naf Grill and Pincho Factory are just a few of the companies that have launched or tested delivery with DoorDash in the past year.

DoorDash will use the test to expand into grocery delivery with select grocery partners, extending its reach beyond restaurant delivery..

DoorDash already provides delivery in over 3,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada, and competes against companies like Uber Eats and GrubHub. Each of the companies benefits by securing an edge over the other, whether through technology or acquisition.

Wall Street Journal reported that Uber Eats was aiming to deploy drone delivery in several markets by 2021 and Forbes reported a job post, which has since been deleted, for a an operations manager for a drone-delivery program at Uber Eats.

DoorDash looks for an edge over competitors and to extend its reach beyond restaurant delivery. Logo by DoorDash.

“We see autonomous vehicles playing a major role in the future of delivery as consumer behaviors continue to shift online, and we are confident Cruise’s leading technology will help us scale to meet growing consumer demand,” said Tony Xu, DoorDash CEO, in the announcement.

Cruise is an automation technology company developing self-driving vehicles that was founded in 2013 by Kyle Vogt and Dan Kan, and is backed by GM and Honda, with a goal of scaling autonomous driving technology.

Cruise CEO Dan Ammann said that the delivery is a significant opportunity to prepare the autonomous fleet for commercial purposes and transportation, and that the DoorDash test will provide “critical learnings.”

Photo credit: Cruise (featured), DoorDash (inline)

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