Just yesterday (October 22nd), Uber announced it is expanding statewide across North Dakota. Now, there’s a chance that by 2021, Uber could deliver food from the skies by way of drones.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Uber had posted a job listing for an operations executive capable of helping to make drone delivery functional as soon as 2019 and available for commercial use by 2021.
Back in May of this year, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said at the company’s UberElevate conference, “We need flying burgers.” Khosrowshahi said that idea delivery times would be roughly five to 30 minutes.
The drone food delivery would be an extension of Uber’s already existing UberEats platform, which is in several cities throughout the country already, including Bismarck, but to my location, the only restaurant that comes up in a search is McDonald’s. However, the platform is still in its early stages.
Another hurdle for the Uber drone delivery would be approval from the Federal Aviation Administration as the drone operators will have to adhere to rules set in place. Industry observers say it won’t be until the end of the first quarter next year as to when they may have initial regulatory concepts in place.
Something else to factor in as to how early we could see this in North Dakota is the fact that the University of North Dakota was the first university with an undergraduate drone degree and the local Air Force base focuses on drone air missions. It seems the Peace Garden State is a hotbed for potential drone activity and innovations.
Uber’s plans for food delivery via drone in North Dakota could be here as early as 2021 and that’ll likely be here before you know it.