Motional, Hyundai Motor's self-driving joint venture with Aptiv, announced on Thursday that it would enter the autonomous delivery market by supplying meal kits to some Uber Technologies customers in California.

In early 2022, Motional announced that it would begin delivering meals from select restaurants using Uber's food delivery app Eats in Santa Monica.

The corporations did not specify if the collaboration would be expanded to other cities. In a statement, Motional President and CEO Karl Iagnemma said the joint venture saw "many long-term opportunities for further deploying Motional's technology across the Uber platform."

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Hyundai's fully electric IONIQ-5 cars will make the deliveries, which have been adapted to function autonomously. Inside the vehicles, a safety driver, according to a spokeswoman, will be present.

When asked if Uber Eats customers would have to walk to their vehicles to pick up their meal orders, the spokeswoman stated the firms will disclose additional information about the service before it launched.

Motional's shift to food delivery follows a trend among self-driving car firms to extend beyond their original goal of delivering consumer robotaxi services.

Only a few limited completely autonomous programs are offered across the United States, as self-driving companies have continually pushed back timeframes to deliver truly driverless rides.

Automating goods delivery in less difficult environments, such as suburbia or along with highway segments, provides a speedier approach to creating returns.

Over the last three years, Motional has been running a robotaxi trial program in Las Vegas with Uber's competitor Lyft. In November, Motional and Lyft announced that in 2023, they will introduce a completely autonomous ride-hailing service in Las Vegas.