Yandex Partners With GrubHub To Deliver Food On Its Rovers In US

Yondex is deploying robots to commercialise its tech which it believes is an efficient way of going about things

By Sahil Gupta


1 mins read


Published on July 7, 2021

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  • Yandex.Rover will be used to deliver meals for GrubHub
  • Yandex has commercialised the robot technology before self driving cars
  • GrubHub will be delivering to college campuses in the US

Yandex is often dubbed the Google of Russia, and like the Mountain View-based search giant, it also has its own self-driving car group. Now, it has announced a partnership with food delivery service GrubHub in a multi-year deal where it will be the robotic delivery provider across American college campuses. Yandex hopes that it can reach over 250 campuses over the years. It will begin by deploying dozens of robots by the fall revealed Dimitry Polishchuk, who is the CEO of the Yandex self-driving unit. 

Yandex had spun out its self-driving unit from a joint venture with Uber after the tech major was scaling back its ambitions in the self-driving space. Earlier this year, Uber fully offloaded its Advanced Technology Group to Aurora. In May, Yandex revealed that it had clocked over 7 million autonomous miles which notably was more than what Waymo had achieved. 

Yandex has been developing its self-driving vehicle since 2017 - with testing based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Ann Arbor and Michigan as well as Innopolis in Russia via its robot taxi fleet. The company also deployed its Yandex.Rover, a six-wheeled 150-pound robot. These robots can move at 3-5 miles per hour and can navigate pavements, pedestrian areas and crosswalks.


The rovers will be delivering food

They are ideal for campuses that can't be accessed by a car and Yandex reveals the service has already been integrated into GrubHub on an app level. Once the rover reaches the destination in question, the customer achieves a push notification and has to come outside to open the robot's hatch through the app which has the contents of the delivery. 

It began deliveries for this in April last year in Skolkovo, Russia which is based on the same self-driving stack as its autonomous cars. Yandex is going to be deploying these robots to US college campuses.

"We chose to partner with Grubhub for campus delivery because of Grubhub's unparalleled reach into college campuses across the United States, as well as the flexibility and strength of their ordering platform. We are delighted to deploy dozens of our rovers, taking the next step in actively commercializing our self-driving technology in different markets across the globe,'' said Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group.

"Together with Yandex, we're changing the way college students experience food delivery," said Brian Madigan, vice president of corporate and campus partners at Grubhub.

"We're excited to offer these cost-effective, scalable and quick food ordering and delivery capabilities to colleges and universities across the country that are looking to adapt to students' unique dining needs. While college campuses are notoriously difficult for cars to navigate, specifically as it relates to food delivery, Yandex robots easily access parts of campuses that vehicles cannot - effectively removing major hurdle universities face when implementing new technology," he added. 

Yandex has taken a unique approach to commercialise its technology. While most autonomous car startups are looking at robot taxis and ride-sharing services, Yondex is deploying robots to commercialise its tech which it believes is an efficient way of going about things. It took it only two years since 2018 to signing a major commercial contract for the same. 

These robots in question have already been tried and tested in Russia. Yandex.Eats, its Uber Eats and Zomato equivalent already uses these robots in its home market. Even its express grocery platform Yandex.Lavka leverages these robots. 


Last Updated on July 7, 2021

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