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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s … a Big Mac? Uber tests drone deliveries in San Diego

Uber Eats, the ride-hailing app’s food delivery wing, hopes to take flight with a new project testing out drone deliveries of McDonald’s meals in San Diego, Bloomberg reports.

The company unveiled the project, undertaken with the blessings of the Federal Aviation Administration, on Wednesday, Tech Digest reported.

“There have been many attempts at drone delivery: landing on mailboxes and in backyards with parachutes attached,” said Uber Elevate flight operations chief Luke Fischer, Business Insider reported.

“But we run into the same problems with those,” Fischer said, according to the publication. “It simply doesn’t work in dense urban environments where people don’t have backyards, don’t have drone capable mailboxes and don’t have backyards for parachutes.”

Instead, the Uber Eats drones will land in designated pickup zones, perhaps the roofs of parked Uber cars, so human couriers can finish the job, Engadget reported.

The company has been trying out the drones in San Diego in conjunction with McDonald’s, Bloomberg reported. San Diego was chosen in part because of its good flying weather.

“We’ve been working closely with the FAA to ensure that we’re meeting requirements and prioritizing safety,” Fischer said, Tech Digest reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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