Your old faithful delivery guy could soon be replaced by a cooler on wheels. DoorDash is deepening its investment in robot-enabled delivery through a new partnership with Marble, which makes large self-driving containers. The company has big ambitions to be more than just a food delivery tool.
“Catering is a big market we’ve been going after,” says cofounder Stanley Tang. In addition to large orders, the pilot will also test the robots as moveable hubs around San Francisco. Marble robots will pick up orders from multiple restaurants and then meet Dashers, as the company’s contract delivery people are known, who will take the orders to a final destination.
DoorDash first started testing automated delivery with a company called Starship. The experiment ferried food short distances in Washington, D.C., as well as Redwood City, Sunnyvale, and San Carlos in California. You may remember Jimmy Kimmel using it to order wings from Hooters, but just in case you forgot, here’s the video:
Marble also has a robotic delivery program with Yelp’s Eat24, which it announced earlier this year.