Seattle is developing a plan to make drone pizza delivery a reality, and this is just the beginning.
“Obviously it sounds pretty fantastic, and a lot of customers think it’s crazy when they first hear about it,” says Keller Cliffton, co-founder and CEO of drone delivery company Zipline.
Zipline is based in California. They recently struck a deal with Pagliacci Pizza in Seattle to start delivering orders using their drone system. Zipline has battery powered unmanned drones that can fly to a customer’s destination. The drone hovers over the location and lowers the delivery along a cable tied to it.
“Anyone can take out a phone, press the button on that phone, and place an order, which can then be delivered autonomously directly to their home, 10 times faster, at half the cost, and completely emission-free compared to our current instant delivery method.” Clifton said.
Scenes of hot pizza dropping from the sky onto doorsteps in Seattle are subject to approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for an operational and security plan. This plan is being developed but has not yet been presented to the agency. The FAA may impose restrictions tailored to Seattle’s busy airspace, such as altitude limits, hours of operation, and locations to avoid. If all goes well, the company plans to start pizza delivery in 2024.
Pagliacci helped develop a new 13-inch pizza box so Zipline drones can carry two pizzas, as well as salads, drinks and other side orders.
Plans are not limited to pizza. Last year, Zipline announced a separate initiative to deliver medical supplies and lab samples to the MultiCare Health System in the Tacoma area. “Ensuring our providers get what they need at the right time is an important part of providing affordable care to patients,” Florence Chang, president of MultiCare, said in a statement last year. “We are always looking for partners with similar values who can help us improve the quality of care we provide to the communities we serve in a sustainable and sustainable way.”
As with pizza, early forecasts for medical supplies in the Tacoma area are 2024. Zipline also has drug delivery deals with Salt Lake City-based nutritional supplement provider GNC and Long Island, New York-based Associated Couriers.