A fledgling system north of Tel Aviv has three drones making six test runs a day from a Pizza Hut to designated parking lots, where drivers pick up the meals and deliver them the “last mile.”
Why it matters: All signs point to a future in which systems like this are ubiquitous across America, with food and merchandise shuttled overhead to centralized landing hubs (as opposed to your doorstep or balcony).
The big picture: UPS, Alphabet, FedEx, Amazon, Walmart and other giants are pressing forward with plans for delivery-by-drone, a market that Deloitte predicts will represent $115 billion annually by 2035 (if you include cargo drones and urban taxis).
- “We need flying burgers,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi was quoted as saying when Uber Eats and McDonald’s tried drone delivery in San Diego in 2019.
Momentum is building in the U.S., as are early-days experiments:
- Verizon and UPS plan to deliver goods by drone to The Villages in Florida.
- The FAA just gave its first approval to a Massachusetts company to fly fully automated drones (with no pilot steering from the ground).
- Companies are gearing up to deliver COVID-19 vaccines by drone.
- People remonstrated about noise, privacy, government surveillance, and the potential for package theft, vandalism or even terrorism.
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SOURCE: Axios, Jennifer A. Kingson