Are We Finally Getting Food Deliveries Using Drones?
Uber Eats surprised many people when it announced that it would start testing drone delivery systems in San Diego sometime in 2020. While many consumers are excited about the possibility of receiving their food orders using UAVs, many companies are intrigued by logistics and other issues that may arise during its implementation.
Back in 2013, Jeff Bezos predicted that Amazon would start using drones for its deliveries by 2018. However, the year came and passed, but the anticipating customers did not see any changes in the e-commerce giant’s delivery methods.
Many companies are definitely interested in drone delivery with Amazon and Uber, two of the most vocal proponents of the technology. However, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations are still strict and have not allowed any delivery forms resembling Bezos’ vision as of yet.
Drone delivery is highly likely in the future, but it will be implemented in various slow stages. That may take several years before any significant changes may be noticed by cities across the world.
For example, Uber Eats is planning to use drones to move batches of meals from restaurants to pre-defined locations. However, delivery drivers will still carry the food to their customers’ doorsteps. It may take many years before we can see individual meals delivered exclusively by drones. And, maybe even longer for full-blown grocery deliveries.
Beyond the novelty of drones, demand among consumers for more convenient delivery methods using drones definitely exists.
According to a survey conducted by Phononic, more than 60 percent of shoppers are willing to order dry goods from stores using a drone delivery system. Furthermore, 26 percent of shoppers said that they are willing to order fresh meat or product using the same delivery method.
However, the survey also highlights the obvious concerns of customers. How will UAVs maintain food freshness and keep the right temperature? Major players such as Uber and Amazon must figure out how to create a controlled environment within the drone payload that will maintain the quality of the products being delivered.
The difference between competitors may lie between timely delivery and the ability to deliver a wide variety of products and goods without sacrificing its quality. And this includes fresh foods and beverages.