Uber takes to the skies with food delivery drones

Uber Technologies has set itself up for an ambitious timeline, envisaging taking to the skies with a fleet of food-delivery drones in as little as three years.

The company would face numerous technical challenges and regulatory hurdles in completing this, and they seek an operations executive who can help make delivery drones functional by 2019, and a commercial option by 2021.

The drone executive will “enable safe, legal, efficient and scalable flight operations”, according to the job listing, which refers to UberExpress, an internal name used for the drone delivery operation within its UberEats prepared-food delivery unit.

Proponents of unmanned aircraft such as Uber, Amazon.com and other companies are scrambling to draft wide-ranging blueprints for various home-delivery efforts, ranging from training ground operators and certifying vehicles to analysing hazardous incidents. But Uber sketched out a faster timeline than many regulators envisage, and such companies generally have been careful to avoid antagonising regulators by publicly laying out comprehensive plans before they have even been formally submitted or gone through vetting by regulators.

Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said at the company’s flying-taxi conference in May that it planned to run limited tests of food delivery by drone, but the job listing suggests the company is more serious about the initiative than previously believed. The company chose San Diego to test commercial drones in several US cities as part of a federal program that includes firms like Alphabet and FedEx.

UberEats has been a lucrative component of the Uber empire which has already expanded to hundreds of cities.

Source: The Australian – Uber keen to launch food delivery drones

23 Oct 2018