Project Wing, a unit of Google's parent company Alphabet, Inc., has teamed up with Chipotle and Virginia Tech (my alma mater, Go Hokies!) to test drone delivery service at the campus in Blacksburg. Obviously, guac will still cost extra. Possibly a lot extra based on added payload weight.
Project Wing will use self-guided hybrids that can fly like a plane or hover like a helicopter. They will make deliveries from a Chipotle food truck to assess the accuracy of navigation systems and how people respond.
The devices will hover overhead and lower the Chipotle edibles with a winch.
The project is part of Virginia Tech's efforts to become a leader in new transportation technology, school President Timothy Sands said in an interview.
"It sounds simple, but it's not," Sands said. "There are a lot of things to work out from a safety point of view and a policy point of view."
The university is part of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, one of six groups chosen as unmanned test beds by the FAA.
The FAA's main concerns with any sort of drone delivery service are safety and reliability. They're worried about how well drones will be able to avoid power lines and each other when there are a ton of them flying in low air-space. Honestly, I'm more concerned about their ability to avoid net-throwing burrito pirates. Unarmed merchant vessels are the bread and butter (technically tortilla and beans) to modern burrito pirates.
Keep going for a video news report from Bloomberg.
Thanks to my dad and K Diddie, who are holding out for steakhouse drone delivery service. Mmmm, call me when it's 5pm so I can order the prime rib.