Do you remember when Uber was just a car service you could hail from your smartphone?
Since then, they have become one of the largest food delivery services in the world (Uber Eats) and even developed prototypes for a flying car service (Uber Air). I guess it only made sense to eventually marry these two visions.
In Tokyo this Thursday, Uber announced its plan to use its Uber Elevate drone department to deliver your food. Uber sees this as a logical next step in their portfolio of services. The idea is to use the same “Skyports” that are already being discussed for Uber Air. These rooftops would provide structures for vertical takeoff and safe drone landing.
The use of drones will provide customers with a faster, cheaper and more reliable food delivery option. Bypassing traffic as they fly through the sky to their delivery destination. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told attendees at a conference in Los Angeles that they are hoping for delivery speeds as quick as 5 minutes from time of order.
Uber has already completed several tests in San Diego, as part of the FAA Integration Pilot Program. Approved earlier this year, the program is designed to test drone delivery capabilities.
Tech titans Amazon, Walmart and Google are also testing similar delivery strategies. These tests are slated to last 2 1/2 years. However, even after that there will still be numerous regulations to pass before drones can become a realistic possibility.
Uber remains optimistic about getting this done in the near future, but all indications are that it may be awhile before you have pizza delivered to your door by drone.