Uber’s growing empire has been besieged numerous times and in numerous but that hasn’t stopped the company from dreaming big and trying to be big. While it’s self-driving plans are still undergoing scrutiny, a part of its company is setting its eyes on something less controversial and potentially more lucrative, too. Uber sets its sights on the the clouds with its Elevate aerial arm and its plans to deliver food on rooftops in just a few months.
Drone deliveries is no longer a foreign concept and anyone and everyone in the tech industry except for Apple and Microsoft seem to have plans for something of that nature. Google has its Project Wing and Amazon has repeatedly showed off its custom-designed drone. Even traditional couriers have dabbled in drones and even self-driving cars for the sake of efficiency and cost savings.
Uber Elevate is, for now, focusing on at least a more achievable goal, that of delivering food. It is a market that would benefit the most from cutting delivery times in half or more. For a delivery that takes 21 minutes to cover 1.5 miles on the ground, a drone can do it in 7 minutes. Uber plans on developing its own drone that can go 70 mph to cut down that time further.
But while the technology for fast and stable drones might already be there, the technology to have them safely deliver packages, especially food, to doorsteps still isn’t. That’s why, for its initial phase, it will simply deliver the food at designated landing zones where it will then be picked up by human couriers for the final mile.
Of course, all of those hinge on Uber getting FAA approval for its activities, which it hasn’t yet. And it has yet to even successfully test the process in public, which has been thwarted by the weather. Hopefully, the winds will blow in Uber’s favor next time.