Here's where you can expect to see your takeout taking to the skies.
Food delivery has always been a straight to your door, little-to-no hassle, enterprise, so what are the benefits of drone delivery? Speed, apparently. Khosrowshahi says that food delivered by drone will arrive on your doorstep in five to thirty minutes—because the “world needs flying burgers.” Can’t say I disagree.
Uber is hardly the first company to try out food delivery via drone. In Hong Kong, a service called FoodPanda already delivers meals by drone in as little as twenty minutes, with plans to expand to several other countries in Asia, including Malaysia and Thailand.
Dominos is one of the first major chains to test out drone delivery. The fast food pizza company tried the method out in New Zealand in the summer of 2016, but plans to bring the service to the United States have yet to materialize.
Chipotle did a one-time experiment at the University of Virginia, during which it delivered burritos to students and faculty on campus, but so far no other major chain has launched a widely available drone food delivery service in America.
Oddly enough, Oscar Meyer—famous for its Wienermobile—added a so-called WienerDrone its WienerFleet (which also includes a WienerCycle). Does this mean that the next time you’re short on hotdogs during a backyard barbecue Oscar Meyer will send the drone to your house to drop off extra franks? No, probably not. But at least you know there’s probably some hotdog fanatic out there right now flying the WienerDrone around an empty airplane hangar.
Khosrowshahi revealed Uber’s plans during an interview with Bloomberg at the company’s—wait for it—flying car conference, Uber Elevate. Uber has partnered with outside agencies like NASA and the U.S. Army to build the vehicles with “pilot programs,” beginning as early as 2020.