If you haven’t noticed how drones are continuing to be used by companies for a wide range of purposes, and are increasingly being featured in news reports the world over, then you must have been living in a social void for the past couple of decades! The future is very much drone shaped, and several industries have been using them with great success to deliver items within a certain weight range. Companies like Flytrex and Google have started using drones to deliver small, everyday items, and the medical industry have been using them to deliver supplies to hard to reach areas and have even delivered organs from a to b to quite literally save lives.
Aerial delivery may sound too futuristic, but with constant advances in drone technology, companies like Uber Eats can realistically explore this delivery avenue and bring food to customers faster than ever before. Trials began last year, with the company working with San Diego State University to run test flights over water and secure environments, to try and develop a system of delivery that would be robust and reliable. Uber’s McDonalds deliveries are set to start up again soon using drones, and other restaurant chains may follow suit.
In a bid to retain the need for a courier on the ground, and prevent potential issues such as drone interference, direct interaction between drone and customer and many others, Uber Eats believes in making drones an integral part of the supply chain between restaurant and customer. They even envision the drivers’ vehicles to become landing pads for the drones carrying food parcels.
The overall goal of Uber Eats is to expand their delivery options to give customers the best experience at the mere tap of a button and using their network of restaurant partners and aviation and tech experience with Uber Elevate, they believe they’re in a unique position – and they may just be right.
What problems have they faced so far?
Trial runs have seen drones attempting to land on mailboxes or in backyards with the help of a parachute, but they are generally unsuccessful. In high density environments where the average home doesn’t have a backyard, or even a mailbox, the drone simply has nowhere to land. Trials are continuing as we speak, with several companies determined to come up with a fool proof solution, and Uber Eats certainly not giving up on the idea of drone delivery, which they believe will benefit both parties.
What do the FAA have to say?
While things may not be happening quickly, the FAA are allowing more companies to experiment with drone delivery in certain airspaces, with some already having been granted approval to make commercial deliveries. You can be sure that companies like Google and Amazon won’t give up on their ambitious plans to use drones, it will be a matter of how much leeway the FAA are prepared to give them.
So, the next time you get last minute or late-night munchies, you might just find your food quite literally flying to your doorstep!