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5 Companies Revolutionizing the World of Delivery in the USA

The delivery industry in the USA is undergoing a remarkable transformation, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer demands, and the rise of e-commerce.

America’s love for takeout and fried food is well-known. Recognizing this, some companies have seized the opportunity to create something truly valuable and beneficial for their target market. Fast, reliable and a revolutionary idea of delivery. The delivery industry in the USA is undergoing a remarkable transformation, driven by technological advancements, changing consumer demands, and the rise of e-commerce. Companies are leveraging innovative solutions to revolutionize the way goods are transported and delivered, offering faster, more efficient, and more sustainable services. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global same day delivery market size was valued at USD 4.6 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3% from 2020 to 2027. The USA, being a major consumer market, is at the forefront of this revolution, with several companies leading the charge.

1. Nuro

Founders: Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu (former lead engineers from Google’s self-driving car project)

Overview: Nuro is a pioneer in autonomous delivery vehicles, developing custom electric self-driving pods and software to enable cost-effective and sustainable local delivery of goods like groceries, meals, and packages. Their vehicles are designed without any passenger seats or controls, optimized just for transporting goods.

Technology: Nuro’s core technology is the Nuro Driver, an integrated autonomous driving system combining AI software and custom sensing and computing hardware. It uses machine learning for perception and naturalistic driving behavior.

Partnerships: Major partners include Walmart, CVS, Domino’s, 7-Eleven, Uber, Kroger and FedEx for autonomous delivery pilots and services.

Vehicles: The R1 was their first vehicle launched in 2018, followed by the R2 in 2020 with no pedals or steering wheel. Their latest is the R3 unveiled in 2024 – a compact, low-speed electric delivery bot.

Expansion Plans: Nuro aims to rapidly scale its autonomous delivery service across more US locations and expand internationally after raising over $1.5 billion in funding. They are building new manufacturing facilities to meet demand.

2. Starship Technologies

Founders: Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis (Skype co-founders)

Overview: Starship has developed a fleet of autonomous cooler-sized delivery robots that can carry goods like food, groceries and packages for short distances. The robots drive autonomously on sidewalks and pedestrian areas.

Technology: Their robots use a variety of sensors like cameras, radar and ultrasonic to navigate and obstacle avoidance. Humans can monitor and take over control when needed.

Partnerships: Major partners include Grubhub, Co-op, Sodexo, Bolt and many universities across the US and Europe.

Milestones: Starship was the first to offer commercial autonomous robot delivery services in 2018. As of 2024, their robots have completed over 6 million deliveries globally.

Expansion Plans: After raising $230 million, Starship plans to expand their delivery-as-a-service model to more cities worldwide and advance their AI technology and wireless charging infrastructure.

3. Gatik

Founders: Gautam Narang, Arjun Narang, Apeksha Kumavat

Overview: Gatik specializes in autonomous middle-mile logistics, using light and medium duty trucks to move goods between distribution centers, fulfillment centers and retail locations for B2B customers.

Technology: Their proprietary Gatik Carrier system provides Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities for structured routes in both highway and urban settings.

Partnerships: Major retail and logistics partners include Walmart, Loblaw, Pitney Bowes, Kroger, Georgia-Pacific and Tyson Foods.

Milestones: In 2021, Gatik became the first company to operate fully driverless commercial deliveries on the middle mile for Walmart.

Expansion Plans: Gatik continues expanding its autonomous trucking operations to more markets and customers across North America after partnerships with Isuzu, Ryder and others.

4. Kiwibot/Kiwi Campus

Founders: Felipe Chávez

Overview: Kiwibot (formerly Kiwi Campus) develops semi-autonomous delivery robots for last-mile logistics, focused on food/grocery delivery to university campuses and local businesses.

Technology: Their four-wheeled robots use cameras, sensors and AI to navigate sidewalks autonomously, with human monitoring. Machine learning enables obstacle avoidance.

Partnerships: Major university partners include UC Berkeley, Stanford, Arizona State and many others across the US. Also partners with restaurants and businesses.

Milestones: As of 2024, Kiwibot’s robots have completed over 150,000 deliveries. They acquired chip maker Auto Mobility Solutions to enhance their robot technology.

Expansion Plans: Kiwibot aims to expand its delivery services to more cities and increase its robot fleet size after raising over $18 million in funding.

Udelv

Co-Founders: Daniel Laury and Akshat Patel

Overview: Udelv is developing autonomous electric delivery vans called “Transporters” designed for last-mile and middle-mile delivery of goods on public roads. Their cabless vehicles are built specifically for multi-stop deliveries of items like groceries, packages, and prepared foods.

Technology: Udelv’s Transporters use Mobileye’s self-driving system with cameras, lidar, radar and Mobileye’s EyeQ system-on-chip for Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities.

They also have proprietary teleoperations systems for remote maneuvering in complex areas.

The vehicles feature modular cargo compartments called “uPods” for automated loading/unloading.

Partnerships:Major partners include Walmart, Donlen fleet management, Ziegler logistics group. Also has deals with auto suppliers like XL Parts, US Air Force, and retailers like Best Buy.

Milestones: Completed the first public autonomous delivery on roads in 2018.

As of 2024, their vehicles have completed over 50,000 autonomous deliveries across multiple states. Secured over 1,000 pre-orders for their new Transporter model from partners.

Expansion Plans: Aiming to deploy 50,000 Transporter units for autonomous delivery services by 2028. Building new manufacturing facilities to ramp up vehicle production. Exploring expansion into international markets outside the US.

Picture of Anshika Mathews
Anshika Mathews
Anshika is an Associate Research Analyst working for the AIM Leaders Council. She holds a keen interest in technology and related policy-making and its impact on society. She can be reached at anshika.mathews@aimresearch.co
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