As of Spring 2018, there were approximately 660,755 restaurants in the United States. UberEats has been a huge success in cities all around the country. From burgers to pizza and everything in between, consumers can order different types of food, from fast food to vegan food, by clicking a few buttons on their smartphone and have it delivered to their door. And with more and more people eating out, especially with Technomic’s 2016 Pizza Consumer Trend Report finding 41% of people eat pizza at least once a week, UberEats has a large customer base. But could drones be the next delivery system that UberEats incorporates?
According to The Wall Street Journal, there was a job listing on Uber’s website for an operations executive to help incorporate drones into the food delivery program and make them commercially operational by 2021. Sources show that the job posting has since been taken down, but the Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has spoken of drones in the past.
At the company’s flying-taxi conference this past May, Khosrowshahi said “that it plans 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 Wall Street Journal reported that the company chose to test commercial drones in several U.S. cities. Furthermore, Khosrowshahi said he thought deliveries within five to 30 minutes could be possible with the help of drones.
UberEats employees a lot of people around the world, which means there are a lot of cars on U.S. roads. And with the average vehicle having three owners throughout its lifetime, drones are unsurprisingly more high-tech than most cars on today’s roads. Drone technology could potentially take drivers off the roads.
Currently, Uber Technologies Inc. has two main divisions of the company. The first is UberEats, which lets drivers deliver food to customers from local restaurants. And the second is Uber, the ridesharing app that connects company drivers to people in the area who need a ride. While both of these company divisions rely on humans to function properly, Uber, like many other companies, is looking to automate processes and reduce the need for people.
Uber is not the only company looking into drones for help with deliveries. Other big companies like Amazon and UPS, and even 7-Eleven, have all made public their interest in drones. Using drones could mean faster and more convenient deliveries — whether it’s food or mail.
So while there is no confirmation about Uber’s current plans to start testing drone deliveries, consumers can most likely expect to hear more talk about drones being incorporated into Uber’s deliveries over the next few years.