Just when I think I have heard everything, a news story comes along that boggles your mind. According to several reports, Domino’s Pizza is testing pizza delivery by drone in the United Kingdom. Yes, you read that correctly, pizza delivery by drone. All I could think of was this story sounded like something straight out of The Jetson’s 1960s cartoon series. Then I thought about it from a practical planner’s standpoint began to wonder what we were potentially getting ourselves into.
Imagine if you will, Domino’s, Pizza, Jet’s Pizza, Cottage Inn, Little Caesars, Hungry Howies, Papa John’s, Donato’s, and a billion or more other pizza chains all using drones stationed at each location. Given their logo (see below), one would have thought that Jet’s would have come up with this idea first. Could you possibly imagine the constant humming and droning sound of these things buzzing about the skies, especially on weekends or during the Super Bowl? I pity the poor birds, butterflies, and bees who’ll have to negotiate their newly cluttered low altitude airspace.
Then from a transportation safety standpoint, who is going to make sure all these low flying aircraft are not colliding with each other and plummeting to the ground in a heap of melted mozzarella and anchovies? And what about us on the ground – are we going to have to duck and cover every time one of these things buzzes past us? Lastly, will these things need to be monitored by air traffic control or are they able to fly about freely as long as they don’t exceed and certain altitude? If so, it sounds like a great way to burden the system and increase the potential for errors.
From an economic standpoint, I understand that using drones for pizza delivery would significantly lower labor costs. Likewise, I doubt anyone has to give a tip to a drone, nor are drones apt to be robbed. Given there are 70,000 pizzerias in the United States and approximately 83 percent offer delivery, that is a potential for more than 58,000 drones zipping about the country. I am not sure the world is ready for thousands of low-flying aircraft buzzing just above our heads or knocking on our front doors? I guess I could drone on and on about this topic, but I will leave further punning to that doozy.