Want This New Innovation? Pizza Delivery By Drone
Many companies have started thinking of how they can use unmanned drones to improve their bottom line, such as using them to make deliveries. Not having to hire drivers and maintain delivery trucks (or pay to outsource shipping) are but two savings. One of the most common daily deliveries being made throughout much of the world is pizza. Companies in at least three of those countries are actually testing the use of drones for active deliveries -- England, Russia, and India.
Last year it was Domino's Pizza testing drone delivery in England. They hired a creative agency to test the feasibility of octocopter drones to deliver pizza hot and delicious to the customer. The "DomiCopter" was able to deliver two pizzas in 10 minutes within a 4-mile radius. These sky-high pies are piloted from the ground by an expert in drone flight.
More drones were delivered to Domino's UK headquarters for further testing. Among other issues, the company wants to see about increasing the drone's payload so that it can carry more, including a 2-liter bottle of Coke.
Last month Francesco's Pizzeria in India became the first restaurant chain to take a shot at delivering pizza by drone there. In this case the delivery was also made in about 10 minutes to the top of a 21-story apartment building where the customer was waiting, dropped its payload, and returned to headquarters, er, um, the restaurant. Okay, the "customer" was also just a friend of the restaurant's CEO helping out with the field test.
Since commercial delivery by drone is still illegal in India (and many other countries, including the U.S.) this was just a test run. The other obstacles to delivering pizza by drone include the batteries die after only 8km of flight, they can run into physical barriers like birds, power lines, and air traffic, and the potential for the loss of product due to piracy or dropping.
The most recent attempt at delivering pizza by drone was last Saturday when DoDo's Pizza in Syktyvkar, Russia, sent a pie skyward for its first aerial delivery. The big news about this one is that it appears that this will be the first drone delivery service that will continue beyond the initial test. The pizza is delivered within 30 minutes. When the pizza arrives at its location it is lowered by cable to the waiting customer.
Recently there has begun to be a backlash against drones as increasing concerns about personal privacy are rising to the surface. Last weekend a Seattle woman was alarmed by a drone outside her high-rise apartment and became concerned that she was being spied on. How these emerging concerns will affect the possibility for commercial drone delivery has yet to be determined.
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Laurie Kay Olson
Clever Problem Solvers