Traffic may no longer be an issue for pizza shops trying to get slices to customers in 30 minutes or less. A pizza chain in Mumbai, India is showing off its plans for drone delivery service.
While Mumbai streets are clogged with cars, motorbikes and auto-rickshaws, a pizza order could one day avoid all that by whizzing overhead attached to a remote-controlled, GPS-enabled drone.
Francesco’s Pizzeria posted a video of a May 11 trial run on YouTube: the video now has more than 530,000 views.
The custom-made drone, equipped with four rotors, carried the 13-inch pizza — a plain margherita according to the Times of India –at a speed of 30 km/h to its destination less than 3 kilometres away, setting it down on the roof of a 21-storey building in Mumbai’s Worli district.
It took less than 10 minutes compared to the 30 minutes it would have taken by motorbike.
Regulations to begin delivering pizza’s via drone aren’t yet in place, according to the Times of India.
But, Francesco’s wanted to make sure the company was ready when new regulations do go into effect, the chain’s chief executive Mikhel Rajani told the Telegraph.
He also said drones would be more “eco-friendly” than the traditional motorbike delivery service and it would be a more economical option.
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“The delivery system now involves motorcycles, fuel costs, and salary for the delivery boys who often miss deadlines to deliver,” Rajani told the British newspaper. Although he told NDTV it would cost about US $2,000 per drone.
The drones won’t be able to travel great distances: the batteries die after travelling about 8 kilometres, Rajani explained to NDTV last week.
He also said the drones with eight rotors would be able to carry up to eight kilograms.
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Francesco’s isn’t the first company to toy with getting a hot pie into customers hands by flying it through the air.
A U.K. franchise of pizza chain Domino’s gave it whirl last year, uploading a video of its DomiCoptor to YouTube — a video that has gotten more than 1.5 million views since it was posted in June.
It was a publicity stunt by the company’s U.K. arm and had nothing to do with the American chain’s operation plans, as commercial use of drones is not yet allowed.
Online retail giant Amazon has also suggested hopes of using drones to deliver it’s goods.
But one U.S. businessman is giving it a go even without regulations being in place.
Jason Strauss posted a video of a poolside bottle delivery service using drones at his Marquee Day Club at Cosmopolitan, in Las Vegas.
The only catch, according to the website Vegas Seven, you need a minimum $20,000 liquor purchase to get the premium service.
Strauss posted a video of a test of the service on his Instagram account.