Innovation

Hey, College Kid, Got The Munchies? Let Google Drone-Drop You A Chipotle Burrito

If you’ve ever seen comic Sebastian Maniscalco’s standup about Chipotle’s burrito-building efficiency, you might wonder what he’d say about a new way of delivering those burritos: via drones sent by Google.

That’s right, we said burritos. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has announced the first initiative for Project Wing, its drone-delivery project: supplying Virginia Tech students with Chipotle burritos. The initiative follows quickly on the heels of the FAA’s announcement last week that it would clear drones to fly for commercial use.

Project Wing has been cleared by the FAA to start drone delivery of Chipotle burritos to hungry Hokies over the next month. The drones start at a Chipotle food truck, pick up the goods, fly it over to the student and lower the burrito right into the grasp of a lucky millennial.

Back in 2013, the FAA selected Virginia Tech, as part of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), to be one of six unmanned aircraft test sites. Mark Blanks, director of MAAP, believes the opportunity will promote the exchange of data.

Drones are certainly becoming popular. Just ask Mark Zuckerberg, who recently gifted Pope Francis a model of Facebook’s new Aquila drone. Or check out Shootly, the Uber of Droneography (= drone + photography), which launched last year and has gained traction with real estate agents and red carpet event producers in key markets.

But if you’re not impressed by burritos, fear not. This launch of Project Wing means companies are sniffing out the potential for expanding drone-delivery services, so your favorite eatery may be next. But first, expect evolved regulations on commercial drones and their delivery capabilities.

Chipotle, of course, has had its troubles this year, with 10,000 employees accusing it of massive wage theft, plus E. coli outbreaks necessitating attempts to lure customers back with free food. So, maybe a Google-powered delivery system is just what Chipotle needs? Only time will tell. In the meantime, pass the guac, would you?

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