When people envision an ideal future, there's one thing that has to be a recurring theme across the board: Chipotle delivery via drone.
Yes, that's right. Chipotle is included in a program being used as a trial run for expansion of drone delivery.
The experimental service will begin this month and continue over the course of a few weeks. It's a test by Project Wing, a unit of Google's parent company Alphabet Inc. The lucky campus in question is Virginia Tech.
Project Wing will use self-guided hybrids that will make deliveries from a Chipotle food truck, in order to assess both how accurate the navigation systems are and how people respond. The drones will then hover overhead and lower the Mexican eatables with a winch.
According to Bloomberg, Dave Vos, head of Project Wing, said,
It's the first time that we're actually out there delivering stuff to people who want that stuff.
The drones will be flown by automation, but human pilots will be standing by to take control if anything goes wrong. Participants will be shielded because regulations also don't allow drones to fly over people. Yikes.
The burrito-bearing aircraft is being used to test how well food is managed and kept ready-to-eat but is also being tested to open up the floor for discussion about unmanned transportation in the future.
The US National Science Foundation will spend $35 million over the next five years on unmanned flight research. The Department of Interior plans to expand its use of drone flights, according to an email released Tuesday from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The most extensive test yet in the US has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and if successful, it will be what many companies — including Amazon and Walmart — will eventually use for routine drone deliveries of products.
In its latest regulations, the FAA said it would allow expanding uses of drones if they were proven to be safe.
The era of drone delivery is almost upon us.