At this point, we can’t dispute the importance of what drones have done for our lives. Drone technology has led to a paradigm shift in many industries, and the next frontier seems to be the food delivery market. Soon, you won’t have to visit a 5-star hotel to sample your favorite gourmet meals!
When Uber toyed with the idea that it would start drone delivery tests in 2020, it became clear that this was a matter of “when” rather than “if”. It’s not only Uber that is contemplating this; other big players such as Amazon and Google are also developing similar delivery services.
So, how long will it be before this dream is finally a reality?
Drone Food Delivery
Despite the restrictions from the Federal Aviation Administration regarding where, how, and when companies can fly drones; drone delivery is bound to roll out gradually in stages with federal approval and fewer restrictions.
Uber Eats, for instance, is planning to leverage drones in moving meals from hotels and restaurants to predetermined locations. While we’ll probably have to wait a few more years before we start witnessing widespread and sophisticated drone delivery of select individual meals or even full-scale grocery delivery; it is clear that the writing is on the wall.
Drone delivery has become a popular service in recent years thanks to various technological and social factors driving the boom. For instance, customer expectations on fast delivery like same-day or overnight shipping in e-commerce are setting a new bar for the delivery service.
Additionally, some individuals deem drone delivery to be more environmentally conscious compared to deliveries by car since drones utilize electric power. According to a Phononic survey, 60% of shoppers would consider ordering dry goods through drone delivery services whereas 26% were ready to order fresh produce.
On the side of technology, a couple of drivers are making this difference. Continued advancements in battery hardware championed by multinationals such as Apple and Tesla are boosting battery capacity. The result here is long flight drones that can fly faster, which is just what will be needed for quick and distant food deliveries.
Better digital cameras, LIDAR, and other hardware are being fine-tuned to make for safer navigation in the congested urban areas. Once the drone takes flight, features such as GPS, LIDAR, and the camera ensure that the quad avoids potential hazards from aerial obstacles including power lines, birds, tree branches, etc.
Given that drone operation is affected by weather conditions, we’ll also need specs like pressure sensors to monitor changing weather conditions and help the pilot know when and where it will be safe to make a delivery.
When you consider all these factors, you will understand why more and more companies are taking a gamble on drone delivery services. It is, therefore, simply a matter of time before drone food delivery becomes a reality!