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 state. 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. 

Of 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 Rwanda. 

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 fashion. 

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 indicated destination. 

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.