Food delivery robots will soon take to the streets of a community in Dubai as part of a new pilot programme.
Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority and online food ordering company Talabat have joined forces to launch the food delivery robots, called talabots, in Dubai Silicon Oasis, news agency Wam reported on Wednesday.
Three delivery robots will serve the residents of Cedre Villas, a gated community in Dubai Silicon Oasis.
Robots will travel within a three-kilometre radius of the Cedre Shopping Centre starting point to ensure a speedy 15-minute delivery time.
The robots come without any facial recognition detection and safeguard people's identities by blurring their faces.
They are fitted with built-in sensors and algorithms that can intelligently gauge surroundings and detect barriers in their pathway, keeping a safe distance from small children and pets.
Robots will transport orders from the nearest restaurant to homes in the Cedre Villas community and will meet customers at their doorsteps.
Customers will be able to track the robots' journey and will receive notifications through the Talabat app when they arrive at their property. Once the robot arrives, customers can unlock the secure compartment by following the steps provided on the app.
The initiative aims to enhance sustainable last-mile delivery options in the UAE and aligns with Dubai's goal of switching 25 per cent of all transport to smart and driverless modes by 2030.
Talabat first introduced the robots at Expo 2020 Dubai, as it seeks to meet these sustainable last-mile delivery goals.
The robots transported food from Talabat's cloud kitchen to customers at the Expo site.
Talabat is present in nine countries in the region and works with more than 25,000 brands and almost 50,000 of these brands' branches.
The food delivery company recently laid out an ambitious strategy to expand UAE operations by increasing the number of riders to 30,000 by the end of the year, up from 15,000 currently, and to cut down delivery times to 15 minutes.