The use of drone technology for the purpose of food delivery is set to become a reality in Pakistan. This became known to the citizens of Pakistan this morning when DC Islamabad Hamza Shafqat broke the news through his twitter handle. This new development will certainly boost the restaurant industry in Islamabad, and in due course, Pakistan as well.
Using drones to deliver food in Islamabad. Coming soon…
— Muhammed Hamza Shafqaat (@hamzashafqaat) September 29, 2021
Drones are being used for surveillance, security, mapping, inspection and detection because of their accessibility to difficult and remote locations. Increasing their domain to include food delivery is certainly the next logical step.
The first drone delivery to ever take place occurred way back in 2015. Flirtey – a drone startup – delivered medicines and pharmaceutical products to a free medical clinic in Wise County, Virginia, USA. A year later, Flirtey delivered pizzas in New Zealand in partnership with Dominos Pizza. As of today, Flirtey is successfully carrying out food deliveries via drones in partnership with 7-Eleven. A specific number of customers are able to order goods through their mobile phone and have them delivered at their doorstep through drone technology.
In 2017, the Iceland Company AHA partnered with Flytrex – an Israeli drone startup – to deliver food packages. Furthermore, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, launched their ‘Project Wing’ to announce their arrival in the field of drone food delivery. In 2016, Project Wing teamed up with Chipotle to test this concept in September at Virginia Tech. Their drones delivered burritos to hungry students deliberately positioned in an open field. In April 2019, Alphabet received permission from Federal Aviation Authority to start delivering goods through drone in Virginia.
Amazon announced its ‘Prime Air delivery drone’ in June 2019, planning to deliver packages from the Amazon platform.
Uber Eats also entered this domain after the initial tests at the University of San Diego. The Uber Eats drone program does not use drones for the entire length of delivery. Customers order meals and affiliated restaurants prepare and load these meals onto drones. These drones then fly to a selected drop-off point. From that drop-off point, the Uber Eats delivery driver delivers the food to the customer.
In india, Swiggy – the food delivery mogul – was set to begin testing drone technology for supplying food and medical goods in June this year. Furthermore, Google-backed Dunzo also announced, back in June, its pilot drone delivery of medicines under the ‘Medicine from the Sky’ project in Telangana. The company aimed to use drone delivery for provision of vaccines and medicine to people living in rural areas at a swift pace.
Foodpanda and ST Engineering conducted a drone test flight on August 13th, 2020, under the project named ‘Pandafly’. Drones are expected to reduce delivery time of approximately 15 minutes to about 3 minutes. This will have profound impact on the restaurant’s earnings and profitability. This will also slash the demand for delivery drivers. For short distance deliveries, food delivery app services pay human drivers approximately $6 to $8 per delivery or per trip. This cost would come down to 88 cents by using drones.
It is worth mentioning that these drones are tested under calm weather conditions, with the drone being in the line of sight of the employees. The Federal Aviation Authority of US still requires employees keeping the drones in their line of sight to take over in case of any malfunction.