New technology Meanwhile, please look down there at the road below, is it a speeding
locomotive, no, it’s a self-driving driverless car that is going to be
the landing pad for the fast food-carrying driverless drone.
I’ve now described for you the approach being tested by several major
companies that are embarking upon speeding up the delivery of fast food
to your home or business.
The idea is that the fast food restaurant
cooks your requested meal, they then place it into an autonomous drone,
the drone flies rapidly to an autonomous car that is nearby your home or
business, lands on the autonomous car, and the autonomous car then
finishes the delivery journey by driving up to your door.
Recently, Uber got in the news for its initial tryouts in San Diego,
California, taking baby steps toward this overarching approach, and will
this summer be advancing their efforts even further with its initial
partner, McDonald's restaurants.
You might say that Uber Eats and Uber
Elevate are moving us into the space age, which just about all other
food delivery services are also hopeful of doing.
Rather than the conventional method of using a human driver that
picks up your meal at the local McDonalds and drives it to you, the aim
is to have an autonomous drone be the pick-up and also speedily get the
meal reasonably close to your destination, leaving the last dollop of
remaining distance for the driverless car to finish the delivery.
According to their earlier trials, Uber claims that the drone usage
will cut the 21 minutes for an all ground-based driven method of
covering a 1.5-mile distance to instead be about 7 minutes, thus shaving
two-thirds of the delivery time.
Presumably, you will be happier to get
your ordered meal into your hungry hands sooner, plus the recently
cooked meal is more likely to still be in its pristine juicy and crispy
Let’s unpack some of the salient elements of this autonomous pairing,
namely the jointly tasked and coordinated efforts of autonomous drones
with autonomous cars.
Why Use Such High-Tech For Fast Food Delivery
First, I’m sure that some of you are vexed about using the
sophistication of high-tech drones as coupled with the sophistication of
high-tech driverless cars to simply deliver a Big Mac to your door.
all of the important things to be done on this planet and for our world,
does being able to more quickly deliver fast food qualify as a basis
for utilizing the most advanced technology that can be created?
Well, given that the food delivery industry is forecasted to rise to
about $76 billion by the year 2022, I guess you could say the answer is
yes, indeedy do, as it makes indubitable profitable sense to exploit
whatever technology you can find or craft in order to grab part of those
massive delivery bucks beckoning to be spent.
Of course, the delivery payload does not need to be fast food. You
could use the same arrangement to deliver medicines to those that are in
vital need, such as the efforts of the company Zipline doing so in
The payload could consist of critically needed blood supplies or
might have vaccines that are being used to combat a spreading malady.
Depending upon the size of the drones being used for delivery, the
same approach could be used to deliver packages and parcels. There has
been a lot of reporting about trials underway by UPS, USPS, Amazon, and
many other logistics and transport companies that see the future
involving drones overhead to get goods from point A to point B.
My overall point is that it is prudent to pursue the drones and
driving approach for delivery and you can then choose what kinds of
items to deliver.
In a sense, deliver whatever you can at first, providing an
opportunity to perfect the tech and the approach, which ultimately once
the kinks are ironed out you can then use for a multitude of purposes.
Fast food delivery offers a twofer, it will make money as a delivery
mechanism and it will advance the ability to enact deliveries in this
Does Autonomy Make A Difference
The next point you might be pondering is whether it is necessary to
use an autonomous drone, officially referred to as an Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle (UAV), and whether it is necessary to use an autonomous car,
which is another kind of Autonomous Vehicle (AV).
Nope, you don’t need to have autonomy baked into all of this.
You could have a manned drone that is controlled by a human operator.
You could have the manned drone flown to a manned car. The human driver
in the car would then finish driving the final distance to the
All of the human labor though is going to push-up
your costs to do the delivery. You also would need to deal with being
able to hire the needed labor and cope with all of the other human
resources elements that accompany having humans-in-the-loop.