Flying Fries: Autonomous Delivery Takes Off! Street Fight

Flying Fries: Autonomous Delivery Takes Off!

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Imagine this… You use your phone to order your pizza or burger (or perhaps a t-shirt because you didn’t pack properly for the weather) from a remote location. Within the hour, a drone, driverless car, or other autonomous “thing” brings you your food and beverage or fashion statement.

What was considered sci-fi a mere few years ago is now a reality — and the cost of labor will accelerate the expansion of autonomous food and retail services.

The market for autonomous delivery is estimated to reach $19B by 2031.

Here are some of the latest developments in the driverless delivery world:

  • Uber Eats has been working with Waymo in Arizona to deliver food via its fleet of no-driver automobiles (which are on the roads in 13 states). According to Restaurant Dive, the brands currently involved in the test include Princess Pita, Filiberto‚Äôs, and BoSa Donuts.
  • If you prefer to have your food, beverages, and apparel drop down from the skies rather than pick them up curbside, look for innovators like Flytrex, Zipline, and DroneUp, all of which have provided technology for MULO (multi-location) brand Walmart. Amazon has also been experimenting with air-centric delivery.
  • Other delivery systems, like the robotic Amazon Scout, which navigates sidewalks and avoids obstacles, are also being developed. Here are other robots being tested for a wide range of purposes.

Although some might worry that these innovations might replace humans, flesh-and-blood “pilots” will still be needed to develop, train, maintain, and fine-tune their robotic assistants.

Robot assistants can also help load and unload heavy packages, cutting down on injury and delays.

One might argue that automation will help MULO brands recruit and retain the best employees. After all, who wouldn’t want to wait in a car on a rainy or snowy day while “Scout” brings the pizza from the car to the front door?

And you, as a consumer, won’t need to worry about Scout tasting some of your fries (yet).





Nancy A Shenker, senior editor with Street Fight, is a former big brand (Citibank, Mastercard, Reed Exhibitions) marketing strategist and leader. She has been featured in, the New York Times and Forbes.
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