Uber Eats Announces Plans for Drone-based Food Deliveries
【Summary】Hints of the company’s interest in leveraging drones for food deliveries can be seen in its ongoing commercial test programs.
In the coming years, drones are expected to disrupt a myriad of everyday services, including third-party food deliveries.
Uber Eats, a company currently dominating the space, could be one of the first establishments to supplement food deliveries with compact quadcopters. The business confirmed its plans during the Uber Elevate Asia Pacific Expo in Tokyo, Japan, which covered the brand's vision for the future of on-demand aerial transportation.
Aerial Food Deliveries
To support the service, Uber Eats will use infrastructure from another subsidiary of the ride-hailing brand – Uber Air. Ports on buildings will house numerous fleets of drones, giving the units direct access to delivery zones without needing to launch from the ground.
Hints of the company's interest in leveraging drones for food deliveries can be seen in its ongoing commercial test programs. With approval from the US government, Uber is in the process of conducting drone-based food delivery trials in San Diego, California.
The project hosts several organizations, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US Department of Transportation and the City of San Diego. Other participants in the trials include Amazon, Google and FedEx.
"We have just announced pilots for drone delivery. It will be a magical experience to push a button a get your food delivered in 7-8 minutes, and warmed to quality," said Raj Beri, Head of Uber Eats Asia-Pacific.
In the US, expanding the establishment's food delivery service using drones could be challenging, due to the strict regulatory landscape. Existing guidelines require quadcopters to fly at or below 400 feet from the ground and must be within the line of sight of operators at all times. Furthermore, nighttime flights are not allowed.
To circumvent such restrictions, Uber could apply for waivers from the FAA (applications are subject to approval).
Uber Eats Market Dominance
With a projected run rate of $6 billion, Uber Eats is one of the largest food delivery services in the world. The company, which was launched in 2009 by Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp (Founder of StumbleUpon), can be found in over 219 cities worldwide, from Rio de Janeiro and Madrid to Singapore and Melbourne.
At the moment, the business is continuing to expand its operations, specifically in India – with an impressive monthly growth rate of 50 percent (according to data from The Indian Express). Overall, the company's net revenue for Q2 of 2018 increased by 51 percent, compared to the same quarter the year before.
"India is the fastest growing country though we have been there only for 15 months. We have recorded over 50 percent MoM growth and now cover 28 cities and 12,000 restaurants," explained Beri.
"We are creating good economic opportunities for restaurants. We work with a lot of small and medium sized restaurants that would not have had access to the kind of demand and marketing insights that we can generate for them."
For restaurants, Uber Eats' services provide a new channel for growth. The delivery platform enables food businesses to reach tech-savvy customers through the Uber Eats app.
Michael Cheng is a legal editor and technical writer with publications for Blackberry ISHN Magazine Houzz and Payment Week. He specializes in technology business and digesting hard data. Outside of work Michael likes to train for marathons spend time with his daughter and explore new places.
Waymo Receives Permit to Participate in California’s Autonomous Vehicle Pilot
How Do Autonomous Cars Deal with Double-parked Vehicles?
Kitty Hawk and Boeing Form Partnership to Make Flying Cars Safer
Waymo to Bring Driverless Cars to France and Japan via Nissan-Renault Partnership
Porsche Forecasts EVs Going Mainstream
Zomato Tests Drones for Food Deliveries in India
Alibaba Brings Tmall Genie to Audi, Honda and Renault Vehicles
Driverless Sensor Startup Sense Photonics Raises $26 Million in Series A Funding
- GM’s Annual Sustainability Report Confirms its Commitment to Electric Vehicles With 12 New Models Coming by 2023
- Honda Planning to Unveil Second EV Concept at Beijing Motor Show
- Volkswagen’s New ID.3 Electric Car Given Low Marks by German Auto Test Publication
- CpK Interior Products is Researching the Use of Graphene to Protect Vehicle Interiors From Extreme Hot & Cold
- Quick Overview: Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Volkswagen ID.4
- Chinese EV Startup WM Motor Raises $1.5 Billion in its Latest Series D Funding Round
- Driverless Waymo One Service Goes Public in Phoenix
- California Governor Signs Executive Order Banning the Sale of New Combustion Engine Vehicles by 2035
- Hyundai Motor Group and Aptiv Rename Their Autonomous Driving Joint Venture ‘Motional’
- Tesla’s Recent Stock Surge Has Also Helped its Battery Supplier LG Chem