Uber Seeks Approval For San Diego Drone Deliveries
Uber Elevate is seeking exemptions from 16 federal safety and operational regulations typically required of more traditional aircraft, such as onboard navigational and communication equipment, so that it can begin "food delivery in very small packages" with operations limited to roughly four miles at or below 400 feet. Comments on Uber's petition, published in the federal register on May 21, are due by June 10. As with Google, Uber has been working closely with the Trump Administration's UAS Integration Pilot Program, along with the City of San Diego, to test drone operations and provide feedback to the government that will help the integration of commercial drone services into the national airspace. "Granting Uber's petition will help enable Uber's operations in this space, providing meaningful operational information to the FAA and to [the U.S. Department of Transportation], while helping to demonstrate the utility of the existing regulatory structure to support this type of operation," Fischer stated. "In the absence of an existing certification pathway for commercial UAS operations, thoughtful approaches like this one will set a precedent for other operators seeking to enter the system safely and effectively," the group stated. As major tech companies like Uber and Google push for federal approvals for drone delivery in the U.S., drone startups worldwide looking to compete for both freight and human transport are attracting major funding from investors, with Zipline one of the most recent examples.