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Uber may start delivering burgers by drones as soon as 2021 because its CEO says 'We need flying burgers'

uber ceo dara khosrowshahi.JPGSaumya Khandelwal/ReutersUber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi
  • Uber is looking to hire an operations executive to make drone delivery functional by next year and available for commercial use by 2021, according to a jobs listing spotted by The Wall Street Journal.
  • In May, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi acknowledged his company was working on a drone delivery project – named UberExpress – saying, ‘We need flying burgers.’
  • Uber’s foray into drone delivery is another service it’s looking to add ahead of its expected 2019 IPO.
  • The ride-hailing company has been accepted into the U.S. Transportation Department drone-operations pilot program.
  • The job listing for the drone executive has since been taken down from Uber’s site.

Uber may be delivering burgers by drones as soon as 2021.

According to a job listing spotted by The Wall Street Journal, Uber is looking to hire an operations executive to make drone delivery functional by next year and available for commercial use by 2021.

The job post referenced UberExpress – which is the internal name for UberEats’ drone delivery initiative – and said the executive would help “enable safe, legal, efficient and scalable flight operations” for the program.

The job listing has since been taken down from Uber’s site after a spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that it “does not fully reflect our program, which is still in very early days.”

In May, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi referenced the drone project at the company’s Uber Elevate conference – which was dedicated to flying cars. “It’s my personal belief that a key to solving urban mobility is flying burgers in any city,” he said. “We need flying burgers. Everyone needs it, so we’re working on that.”

Khosrowshahi thinks drones could significantly cut down delivery time from today’s UberEats couriers. Five to thirty-minute delivery time is the goal, he said at the conference.

Uber’s foray into drone delivery is another service it’s looking to add ahead of its expected 2019 IPO to ward off naysayers who worry about its past scandals and potential profitability from its core ride-hailing business, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Drone delivery is no easy task, however, as industry giants like Amazon have learned. Amazon announced in 2013 that it planned to roll out its drone delivery program within four to five years, but it suffered a setback this year when the company was not included in the U.S. Transportation Department drone-operations pilot program.

Uber was accepted into the Transportation Department’s pilot in San Diego, which will focus on border protection and food delivery.

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