Uber planning fleet of food delivery drones

Uber planning fleet of food delivery drones
© Greg Nash

Uber is hoping to launch a drone-based food delivery service by 2021, but the ride-hailing company cautioned that the project is still in its early stages, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The newspaper cited a since-deleted job posting on the Uber website that sought an operations executive to make delivery drones functional as early as next year.

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The job posting also referenced work for UberExpress, which is the internal name for the drone operation at UberEats, the Journal reported. The proposal would likely need to clear a number of regulatory hurdles before being implemented, it added.

When the newspaper asked Uber about the posting, it was removed.

A company spokesperson said the job description "does not fully reflect our program, which is still in very early days."

“We are excited about the progress and potential of Eats drone delivery, which is currently in the experimental phase of the FAA’s Integration Pilot Program," Uber spokesman Matt Wing told The Hill in an email. "However, the job description that was posted did not fully reflect our program, which is still in very early days.”

Discussions for a drone-based food delivery operation come amid speculation that Uber could go public as early as next year. Valuations from Wall Street banks reportedly put the value of the company at around $120 billion.

"I do think that we're on track in 2019 for an IPO. Lots of things can happen in the world but we have a reasonable buffer as well, so I think we're in a pretty good spot," CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in May.

Updated at 10:46 a.m.