UberEats is willing to integrate technology into their meal-delivery service and plans to drop off their first drone in 2021.
The ridesharing company revealed that they’re keen to utilize drone technology for the UberEats meal-delivery service and accidentally by a job ad posted on WSJ, titled “flight standards and training”. The position is based in the company’s home city of San Francisco.
Following an inquiry by the Journal, Uber took down the listing from their website, but at the time of writing, it can still be viewed here on LinkedIn. A spokesperson at Uber said only that the posting “doesn’t fully reflect our program, which is still in its very early days”.
The ad says the primary focus of the role is to develop “standards, procedures, and training while scaling down the operational risk for all UberExpress flight operations.” UberExpress is the internal name used for the company’s drone-based plan.
A target date is set by the company for the first drone delivery plans, the person who takes up the post will also be required to “enable safe, legal, efficient, and scalable flight operations to deliver flights in 2019 and commercial operations in multiple markets by 2021”.
In that case, Uber will have to first build a drone platform — including the machine itself — which will be capable of carrying out the deliveries. And then there’s the tricky matter of overcoming regulatory hurdles. Lots of companies including Amazon, want to use drone technology to drop orders at people’s doors, but the Federal Aviation Administration has so far proceeded with extreme caution when it comes to commercial operations, and so it would have to be be reassured about safety policies when considering in such platforms.
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO
Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi revealed the company’s plans to use drones as part of UberEats during an on-stage interview with Bloomberg in May. Alike their competitors in meal-delivery business, UberEats currently hires drivers and cyclists to send orders, but autonomous delivery drones, which are able to pass straight over gridlocked city streets, could give its own service the edge by offering a faster alternative, once the technology is all set.
He also commented,
Uber can’t just be about cars. It has to be about mobility. It’s my personal belief that a key to solving urban mobility is flying burgers, in any city. We need flying burgers.
There’s a growing list of companies keen on using drones on -especially food- delivery, Uber has joined now.