Remember when Uber was just about getting a ride on a night out?
The ride-sharing company is reaching higher in its bid to change the world of transportation, announcing Uber Eats powered by drone.
The company made the announcement at Uber Elevate in Tokyo on Thursday as part of broader plans for what it sees as the future of on-demand aviation. This was the third Elevate conference for Uber (following events inand ), and focused on the future of Uber Air -- the on-demand, "push a button, get a flight" flying car service that it says will change transport in cities of the future.
While dinner via drone might sound like a wildly different idea to flying cars, Uber told the conference that the two initiatives go hand in hand.
Uber will be able to use the same infrastructure that underpins Uber Air for Uber Eats -- the same "Skyports" on the tops of buildings. These allow for the quick vertical take-off of electric aircraft and will be able to get drones in the sky for swift deliveries, bypassing traffic below.
Uber isn't the only one working hard to minimise the last vestiges of human contact from your late-night pizza delivery or your online shopping deliveries.
Amazon, Google, and others are , and the technology has even been slated as a solution for . In May this year, the US Federal Aviation Administration gave its stamp of approval for , announcing 10 test projects to trial the new tech.
Fast food companies have also tried to get in on the action (though largely in the form of marketing gimmicks) with, and even delivery . But just as the Domino's reindeer turned out to be (yes, seriously), there are plenty who worry that drone delivery is a hype train that's not coming any time soon.
Uber Eats via drone certainly won't be here tomorrow, the details still in concept stage. The infrastructure that Uber needs to get Uber Air up and running requires a massive overhaul, from changes to city planning and construction, to zoning regulations and even air traffic control.
Why not reach a little closer to the sun and aim for flying pizza while we're at it?