Published: Thu, June 13, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Uber Eats to test drone delivery service in San Diego

Uber Eats to test drone delivery service in San Diego

For logistical reasons, the drones will not deliver directly to customers, but to a safe drop-off location where an Uber Eats driver will complete the order.

According to Bloomberg, which got to witness the drone delivery in action in May, the company plans to begin drone delivery in San Diego this summer with pricing "consistent" with Uber Eats regular delivery that can now cost up to $8.50.

Uber plans to deploy these cars as an autonomous ridesharing service.

"We've been working closely with the FAA to ensure that we're meeting requirements and prioritising safety", Luke Fischer, head of flight operations at Uber Elevate, said in a statement Wednesday.

The new "vehicle platform" will allow Uber to "easily install its own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber's network as an autonomous ride sharing service".

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While not the first food drone delivery service, Uber is aiming for a potentially large-scale service through its food service partners across the United States.

Volvo and Uber have whipped the covers off their production XC90 self-driving auto, as the ride-sharing giant ramps up its efforts to remove human drivers from its fleet. These include several backup systems for both steering and braking functions as well as battery backup power. "Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world's leading ride-hailing companies", said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. In case the main systems fail, these back-up systems are capable of immediately bringing the auto to a stop.

Various sensors will allow Uber's self-driving system to safely operate and manoeuvre in urban areas, the company said.

"What it looks like from the outside isn't much different, but what's going on inside enables us to run our full autonomy system - things like 360 degrees of camera coverage, 360 degrees of Lidar and radar", Uber ATG CEO Eric Meyhofer said at the Elevate Summit.

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