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Serve Robotics ramps up robotic delivery ranks with Magna Deal

In the rapidly evolving world of robotic last-mile delivery, Serve Robotics is doubling down on its mission to deploy thousands of autonomous sidewalk robots through a major manufacturing partnership. The company today announced an expanded agreement with global automotive supplier Magna International to significantly increase production of Serve's AI-powered delivery robots.



Under the new deal, Magna becomes the exclusive contract manufacturer for Serve's robotic systems as the startup looks to deploy as many as 2,000 units across multiple U.S. markets supporting the Uber Eats platform. It builds on an existing Magna licensing agreement for Serve's proprietary robotics technologies.

"Magna is excited to continue collaborating with Serve, leveraging our manufacturing and technical expertise to help fuel Serve's growth potential," stated Matteo Del Sorbo, Magna's Executive VP of New Mobility.

For Serve, which just went public last week in a $40 million IPO, scaling up robot production is critical to meet burgeoning demand for its contactless delivery services from major customers like Walmart, 7-Eleven and Uber Eats. Since first piloting its mobile robots in 2022, the company has completed thousands of commercial deliveries.

"Following our successful public offering, we are excited to start working to scale our robotic fleet with Magna's world-class manufacturing capabilities," said Ali Kashani, Serve's CEO. "This collaboration supports the natural progression of our business beyond food delivery and positions our proprietary robotics technology as a platform upon which new robots can be built."


Robotic Delivery Boom 

The partnership comes amid a robotic delivery boom projected to make last-mile logistics increasingly autonomous in the years ahead. Research firm ABI Research predicts the global robotics delivery market could grow tenfold from $70 million in 2022 to $670 million by 2030, driven by labor costs, improved autonomy, inflation, and customer demands for rapid service.

By leveraging Magna's massive global footprint and decades of automotive manufacturing experience, Serve gains a powerful accelerant for deploying its Level 4 self-driving delivery robots at scale. The company's AI-enabled machines use multi-sensor perception to autonomously navigate complex sidewalk environments while automatically planning paths and avoiding obstacles.

Serve contends its low-emissions robots provide a more sustainable and economical approach to last-mile logistics compared to traditional delivery vehicles and personnel. The company currently offers its robotic delivery services through a robots-as-a-service (RaaS) model.


Robotic Job Threats? 

As artificial intelligence capabilities advance and autonomous robots become ubiquitous for deliveries and other mobile services, there are legitimate concerns about job displacement for human workers. Some projections suggest millions of driving jobs could eventually be "robbed" by self-driving systems.

However, many experts believe robotic delivery will create new job opportunities even as it evolves certain roles. Remote monitoring, maintenance, dispatching and engineering robots will likely emerge as entirely new human vocations. Optimization of robot fleets and efficient hand-offs to customers are also areas where people will remain essential.

For now, robots are simply augmenting existing delivery operations by automating repetitive manual tasks. But as their dexterity and autonomy improves, robotic delivery platforms could become disruptive forces that rapidly reshape last-mile logistics—for better or worse when it comes to impacting human jobs.

Serve's partnership with Magna is a major milestone in realizing that robotic delivery future at scale. The resulting human job implications, both positive and negative, remain to be seen as the technologies mature. But one thing is clear: robotic delivery is no longer science fiction, it's an unfolding reality in neighborhoods across America.

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