You sometimes hear the word drone been used interchangeably with Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). While the history of drones can be traced back to the military, they now have various use cases in different industries such as photography and agriculture. The recent release of the DJI FPV is another use case with sole purpose of improved immersive experience in drone racing. You can find out more about what drones are used for here.
In recent articles, we have mentioned how companies like UPS and Dominos are experimenting with autonomous drone technology for last mile delivery. A start-up company called Nuro recently formed a partnership with Dominos to bring customers self-driving pizza delivery experience. This means that starting April 2021, citizens of Houston, Texas in USA will be able get their pizza delivered without communicating with a human. Dominos confirmed the partnership and will be using Nuro’s R2 robot to deliver pizza to customers' doorstep. If you are thinking, when will this come to a city near me? Unfortunately, Dominos have not provided a timeline for when we can expect the self-driving vehicles in the UK. The Chief Innovation Officer at Dominos said "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space", so basically not anytime soon in the UK!
Drones and Autonomous Vehicle
So what has autonomous pizza deliveries got to do with drones? Well, recent times have seen an increase in discussion of autonomous vehicles. Tesla's Robotaxis is currently the hottest topics when we talk of autonomous vehicles. In 2019, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted approval to UPS to start using drones for delivery. With constant new precedence, Nuro has now been granted regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation for a self-driving vehicle exemption. In 2021, American Robotics became the first to be approved by the FAA to operate their drones without human intervention.
The connection with drones and autonomous vehicles is simply that government regulators are now more open to experiment new ways technology can drive innovation and lower costs for consumers. We expect to see more autonomous vehicle approval from government bodies; and perhaps a Nuro robot delivering a Dominos pizza in a city near you.