Russia’s Yandex has started using its self-driving robot to deliver fast food orders, the company announced Wednesday.
The small six-wheeled autonomous robot — dubbed Yandex Rover — has started delivering orders from Yandex’s food delivery service, Yandex Eats, to customers in one of Moscow’s central business districts.
Just like a human courier, after an order is placed, the robot makes its way to the restaurant, picks up the food, and then delivers it to a specific location. Users can track the robot’s journey and then “unlock” the food through the Yandex Eats app.
“Rovers can deliver restaurant meals, groceries and orders from online stores and will slowly but steadily become a normal part of city life,” said Dmitry Polishchuk, the CEO of Yandex’s self-driving group.
For now, the robot is only delivering from a handful of restaurants in a small area, but the company said it will expand the service in the future. It is also available in Innopolis, a hi-tech development park on the outskirts of Kazan, some 750 kilometers east of Moscow. It is one of the places where Yandex has been testing its self-driving vehicles and robo-taxi services.
Yandex is investing heavily into self-driving technology — its autonomous cars are in the top three globally for number of miles driven, the company announced over the summer.