It’s a hot summer day; the hottest since that great summer of 2018. You’ve ventured to the park near your flat to make full use of this tanning opportunity, wearing a skirt that rubs against your hips as you stride towards the hill. Someone’s bought a speaker. Your forearms feel sticky with sweat as you dump your bag on the grass. A low buzz starts to emanate from nowhere, and across the almost endless blue sky, a black dot appears. Perfect timing, you think, as the dot—now more the size of a frisbee—buzzes its way towards you. Out of the sky, the drone lands softly at your feet. You reach inside the box and pull out a halloumi burger, fries, and a salted caramel milkshake. What a day.
This scenario might sound more sci-fi than reality (flying burgers!! Are you having me on??!!) but flying food delivery may not be as far away as we think. According to Uber, its drone delivery venture (called Uber Elevate) could launch as soon as 2021.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the transportation company announced the three-year deadline in a job advert on its website this week. In the advert, the company calls for an operations executive that can help the drone technology become “commercially operational” in different countries, as well as “enable safe, legal, efficient, and scalable flight operations.”
The advert has since been removed, suggesting that maybe sky burgers aren’t right around the corner. In a statement to the WSJ, an Uber spokesperson explained that the job description, “does not fully reflect our program, which is still in very early days.”
Speaking at the Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles in May, chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi explained that the company was working on drone technology that could deliver food in 30 minutes.
“Uber can’t just be about cars,” said Khosrowshahi. “It has to be about mobility.”
“It’s my personal belief that a key to solving urban mobility is flying burgers, in any city. We need flying burgers.”
Who says Silicon Valley isn’t solving the biggest problems of our time?