Uber Eats is testing the first commercial application of food delivery via smart drones in high-density urban areas, as announced during the Uber Elevate 2019 Summit, held on June 11 and 12, in Washington, DC, which is a sample of what the future of food delivery will be like.
After testing food transfer via drones in the open, over the sea and finally in low-density cities, the firm is ready to start a pilot program with the McDonald's fast food chain in the city of San Diego, with the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States.
As part of the pilot program, Uber designed the drone that will be delivering the food to the users, in order to increase safety levels, comply with regulations, avoid sudden movements that alter the food and improve the user experience. The company says its future plans are to land the drones on top of Uber Eats vehicles parked near the delivery locations and secure them to the vehicle for the last part of the delivery.
The goal is to leverage all the data and experience of the Uber Eats delivery platform to facilitate and create delivery points in order to open more restaurant opportunities or delivery points. At the same time, all the data generated by the food drones service will serve as the basis for Uber Air's shared areas trips in the future - Luke Fisher, Flight Operations Manager, Uber
Uber's proposal is to fly the food from the restaurant, in this case, McDonald's, to the specific points in the cities where a human deliveryman can collect the food and take it to the final point or land on the roof of specific and special vehicles by Uber Eats. The firm expects to soon expand the service to other cities and with more restaurant options.