Uber is rehabilitating to test its new drone delivery service for Uber Eats in San Diego in 2020. Today, the company has unveiled a new look for its drone that uses "innovative rotating wings with six rotors" to better facilitate the transition between vertical takeoff and forward flight.
Rotating wings is a feature that is more common in flying car prototypes and rarely in drones. Uber explains that the rotors are positioned vertically for takeoff and landing, but can then rotate in the forward position (pictured above) "for increased speed and efficiency during cruise flight."
The rotating wing is similar to that designed by Mark Moore, a NASA veteran and VTOL expert, for the company's air taxi prototype. Both the drone and the air taxi project are part of Uber Elevate, the company's ambitious game of bringing its ride and delivery service to heaven. It wants to conduct test flights of the & # 39; s in 2020, with a commercial launch in 2023.
The load capacity for the drone is a meal for two, Uber says, adding that the drone has already passed its "critical design review" and is expected to depart before the end of the year. Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Uber the green light to test the delivery of drones in San Diego.
The drone is designed to perform a maximum delivery leg in eight minutes including loading and unloading. The cruising height will be lower than 400 feet to comply with the existing drone rules. It has a total flight range of 18 miles without delivery, and 12 miles with one. And the drone can float in wind speeds of up to 30 mph.
The delivery of drones is evolving from concept to reality with a series of new tests. Last week, Alphabet & # 39; s Wing deployed its first delivery of drones in Virginia. Other large companies, such as Amazon and UPS, are also in the early stages of experimentation.