We see robot deliveries as a unique complement to the existing Dasher community. Since, Starship’s robots have a smaller carrying capacity and drive on sidewalks, they are better suited for carrying a small meal down the street, rather than a few pizzas. We expect to use robots to deliver these smaller, short-distance orders that Dashers often avoid, thereby freeing up Dashers to fulfill the bigger and more complex deliveries that often result in more money for them. We also plan to explore using robots to bring food from a restaurant to a local hub: with this approach, Dashers would no longer need to park outside a restaurant or wait for the food, but could simply meet a robot at a parking lot to pick up the food and take it directly to the customer. Ultimately, we think we can use robots to improve the Dasher experience and make the deliveries they do even easier and more efficient.
DoorDash and Starship share a vision of transforming last-mile delivery. While some companies have pursued autonomous technologies by flouting local laws, Starship has already received approval to test their robots in Redwood City. And while other companies are exploring robotic vehicles that lack the infrastructure for delivery, we’re excited to be using our existing logistics network, meaning you’ll see robots fulfilling deliveries in weeks not years.
DoorDash is first and foremost a technology company. When we started the company, we knew that the only way to solve the complex logistics problems of a three-sided marketplace was through software. Over the past few years we’ve built technologies for placing orders, receiving orders, dispatch, support, and more, while pioneering new innovations like DoorDash Drive’sfulfillment platform and the Delight Score for ranking restaurants. We’re excited to continue pursuing innovation and experimentation with this newest announcement and hope to better learn how autonomous robots can improve the DoorDash experience for customers, merchants and Dashers.