Along with announcing Uber Cash Monday, Uber shared a few more details about its plans to bring drone delivery to Uber Eats.
Uber unveiled the design for the drones at the Forbes 30 under 30 summit. The drones will have rotating wings with six rotors and will be able to take off and land vertically, Techcrunch reports.
While you might think the drones would be used for long-distance travel, instead they’ll likely be used for more local deliveries, at least for the time being. The drones are expected to have a maximum travel time of eight minutes, including takeoff and landing, and will have a range of 18 miles. For round-trip deliveries, the drones will likely travel 12 miles.
In previous conversations about the project, Uber has suggested that it doesn’t plan to use the drones for an entire restaurant to door delivery and instead plans to use the drones for more of a “last mile” approach. For instance, a restaurant might load up several drones for a delivery area and then those drones will all be launched from a central location to their final stops.
In another scenario, the drones will be deployed from restaurants to parked Uber vehicles that will then be responsible for delivering the food that final mile to its destination.
In July, Uber was conducting tests of the delivery drone in San Diego. Those tests were done from a McDonald’s in the area and were done using an Air Robot AR200 octocopter with a custom-built box for holding the food.
In July, Uber talked about building its own drones for food delivery and said that they could eventually reach speeds of 70mph. It had hoped to have its commercial service set up by this summer, which clearly didn’t pan out.
Earlier this month Wing launched the first drone delivery in the United States. Wing, which is owned by Google, is delivering over-the-counter medication, snacks, and gifts to people in Christiansburg, Virginia. It is working in partnership with Walgreens, FedEx Express and Virginia-based retailer Sugar Magnolia on the project.
In the case of Wing, customers have to opt into receiving deliveries via drone should they want to try the technology out.
- Wing launches the first commercial drone delivery service in the United States
- Flying meds: UPS uses drones for deliveries to CVS customers for first time
- CVS and UPS join forces for drone deliveries to customers’ homes
- 15 awesome flying taxis and cars currently in development
- Google’s Wing delivery drones will soon ship packages for FedEx and Walgreens