Uber eyes drones for food delivery

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(Washungton) – Uber said it plans to speed up restaurant meal delivery by using drones for its Uber Eats service, in the latest effort by the ride-hailing giant to disrupt the transport sector.

At its Uber Elevate Summit, the company said it had regulatory approval to begin tests of delivering food by drone in the region of San Diego, California.

“Our goal is to expand Uber Eats drone delivery so we can provide more options to more people at the tap of a button,” said Luke Fischer, head of flight operations at Uber Elevate.

“We believe that Uber is uniquely positioned to take on this challenge as we’re able to leverage the Uber Eats network of restaurant partners and delivery partners as well as the aviation experience and technology of Uber Elevate.”

For logistical reasons, the drones will not deliver directly to customers, but to a safe drop-off location where an Uber Eats driver will complete the order.

In the future, Uber hopes to land the drones on parked vehicles located near each delivery location to allow the final delivery by hand.

Uber said it had developed a proprietary airspace management system called Elevate Cloud Systems that will guide the drones to their location.

While not the first food drone delivery service, Uber is aiming for a potentially large-scale service through its food service partners across the United States.