Uber says it will deliver McDonald's meals via drones in San Diego as soon as this year
· Uber plans to launch drone deliveries of McDonald's meals in San Diego this year, the company said Wednesday.
· The aircraft will be able to land on Uber's latest self-driving cars for a delivery "partner" to make the final hand off.
Graham Rapier, Business Insider
June 12, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC — Uber plans to launch drone deliveries of McDonald's meals via drones in San Diego, the ride-hailing company's Uber Eats division announced Wednesday.
Eventually, an Uber-designed aircraft specifically for food deliveries could land on an Uber vehicle for a "partner" to make the final delivery to a customer. That would negate many of the problems other attempts at home drone delivery have encountered.
"There have been many attempts at drone delivery: landing on mailboxes and in backyards with parachutes attached," Luke Fischer, Uber Elevate's head of flight operations, said on stage at the company's conference. "But we run into the same problems with those. It simply doesn't work in dense urban environments where people don't have backyards, don't have drone capable mailboxes and don't have backyards for parachutes."
Of course, there are still plenty of regulatory questions surrounding drone operations for Uber and any other companies looking to fly drones outside an operators line or sight or over people's heads. So far, the company has completed one test flight in conjunction with San Diego State University that involved a beyond-line-of-sight delivery.
The theme of nearly every panel at Uber's elevate conference this week has been two-fold: safety and regulatory help. Speaking in separate keynotes, acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao both said the current administration is committed to empowering companies like Uber to find safe ways to innovate and launch new products, something many of the current laws do not allow for...