To make deliveries of prepared meals in dense urban environments, Uber is preparing to experiment with drones for Uber Eats. The company finished the first stage of testing in conjunction with McDonald’s at San Diego State University, according to reports.
Uber Elevate Head of Flight Operations Luke Fischer said per reports, “We’ve been working closely with the FAA to ensure that we’re meeting requirements and prioritizing safety.” Fischer continued, “From there, our goal is to expand Uber Eats drone delivery so we can provide more options to more people at the tap of a button.”
When it comes to logistics, Uber is using drones for just a portion of the delivery process: Restaurants will make the food before putting it onto a drone that will fly to a drop-off spot determined ahead of time. And Uber’s Elevate Cloud Systems will guide and monitor the drone in addition to telling a delivery driver from Eats where and when to make a meal pickup. In the future, Uber reportedly sees landing the drones on top of Uber vehicles that are parked in the vicinity of locations for delivery.
The move comes after news surfaced earlier this month that Amazon is reportedly going to have a drone delivery service within a matter of months. The announcement was made by CEO of Worldwide Consumer Jeff Wilke on June 5 at the company’s “re:MARS” conference in Las Vegas.
The drone is reportedly more stable than previous Amazon drone models and will have the ability to lift off and land like a helicopter. And, while Wilke didn’t specify where the drones will be deployed, Amazon has delivered by drone in the U.K. in the past. The drone delivery initiative by Amazon is not new, as it is said that the eCommerce company has been talking about it for a number of years, but this is the first time Amazon has announced a timeframe.