If you thought the drive-thru window was innovative, wait until you hear about what Uber is testing. The multi-billion dollar ride sharing app, which since May is a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, is reportedly testing food delivery via drones.
The company already has a well-known food delivery service, UberEats. But this area of Uber’s business centers around Uber Elevate.
The plan is to start delivering food via drone this summer in San Diego, California, according to Bloomberg.
The company is betting that customers will demand drones for the time savings and eventually, price savings. For a delivery 1.5 miles away, ground transportation averages 21 minutes; drones can make the trip in about 7 minutes. Uber Elevate is planning to unveil its own customized drone this year, reaching speeds up to 70 mph. The company is also bullish on vertical takeoff-vertical landing vehicles for people—and predicts you’ll be tapping an Uber Air button on your smartphone by 2023.
To be clear, the drones won’t necessarily be landing on your doorstep. Instead, the plan is to have them land close to a destination. They may land on the roof of an Uber car, which will then transport the items to the person’s location.
Uber’s drone may travel as fast at 70 miles per hour, according to media reports, although the company is still waiting for the greenlight from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Uber clearly has its sights on the air. This news comes right as Uber is set to launch helicopter rides in July to transport people from Manhattan in New York to the city’s main airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). These helicopter rides are set to cost $200.
If you were to take an Uber car from Manhattan to JFK airport, the cost would typically be $50-$60 and take roughly 45 minutes to one hour and potentially even longer if there is heavy traffic.