Postmates has been granted conditional approval from San Francisco Public Works to test its delivery robot, Serve. Once the permit is issued it will allow three semi-autonomous robots to operate on San Francisco sidewalks for a total of 180 days.
A Postmates representative told TechCrunch that they were hoping to form a collaborative approach to the deployment of these autonomous delivery robots that respects the cities regulations. This comes after many companies who had been testing autonomous robots on San Francisco streets without permits were banned from testing in 2017.
Postmates developed and created the semi autonomous vehicle. Serve was first unveiled in December 2018, and it uses Lidar sensors and cameras to navigate. It can travel 30 miles on a single charge while holding up to 50 lbs. Postmates also announced in June that Apple’s Ken Kocienda had been brought onto the team to focus on Serve’s human-machine interaction software. During its testing phase it will be remotely monitored by a human pilot.