Postmates taps longtime Apple engineer to boost autonomous delivery efforts

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Postmates has hired Apple veteran and author Ken Kocienda as a principal software engineer at Postmates X, the team building the food delivery company’s semi-autonomous sidewalk rover, Serve.

Kocienda, author of “Creative Selection: Inside Apple’s Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs,” spent 15 years at Apple focused on human interface design, collaborating with engineers to develop the first iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Kocienda left Apple in 2017 to focus on his book.

Now, he’s picked Postmates as his next project, citing the team’s spirit and energy as motivation for joining.

“My goal throughout my career has not been technology for the sake of opportunity, I am interested in making product experiences that people out in the world will find useful and meaningful,” Kocienda tells TechCrunch. “It’s not about the technology or just the design, it’s about the technology and design coming together.”

Postmates unveiled Serve, their human-like delivery robot, in December. The semi-autonomous rover uses cameras and lidar to navigate sidewalks and can carry 50 pounds for up to 25 miles after one charge. To ensure safety, the team has a human pilot remotely monitoring the Serve fleets, and each rover has a

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