Mumbai-based Fransesco’s Pizzeria did a test run of delivering a pizza using a drone earlier this month. The lucky recipient lived in a high rise 1.5 kilometers away from the venue. The company even made a video of the event (see below) which screams publicity stunt, but hey at least it’s a cool one; unlike Zomato’s.
The pizzeria’s chief executive Mikhel Rajani told PTI that the drone costs $2,000 and it was modified for this purpose with some help from a friend. It can only go 8 kilometres on full battery, reducing its range to 4 kilometres. The company did not specify if the quadcopter is smart enough to dodge birds and stones that people might fling at it just for fun (we Indians are like that only).
Logistical issues: Rajani says that these drone saves time and costs for a company, which would otherwise depend on a two-wheeler borne agent to deliver the pizzas. We’re not sure if that should be the reason for using drones or how the company will handle operational issues.
To begin with, India is a cash on delivery market, especially for food and how will a drone handle that scenario? Then there are other issues such as what will the drone do, if the house windows is not open? Will someone manually steer the quadcopter remotely? How will the person communicate via the drone (since 3G/2G network can be spotty)?
That being the case, there will be several people who will order from there for the novelty of getting pizza delivered by a drone.
Regulatory restrictions: He says that this may not be deployed in large scale anytime soon since drones are not allowed to fly above 400 feet altitude and are barred from flying over security establishments. Considering the number of terrorist attacks the city has gone through, the chances of this being allowed is very low. Unless the Mumbai cops have a way of monitoring them.
In US, Amazon has been testing drones for delivery and there have been others too experimenting with this concept. There are these guys trying to deliver Mexican food and then there are people trying to deliver medicines. Oh and let’s not forget these people using drones to deliver death.