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Here's who Uber is hiring to build its drone delivery service for Uber Eats

7 months ago by Joshua Fruhlinger in Innovation, People, Tech

Uber ($UBER) has its hands in many things aside from carshares and food delivery.

It's building a trucking and freight service called Uber Freight. It's building an aerial ridesharing service called Uber Elevate that it says will fly people between locations by 2023. But there's something else set to happen in the skies for Uber by 2021, and it has nothing to do with people, a lot to do with food, and everything to do with drones.

According to job-listings data, Uber is on track to do just that.

In March 2018, job listings with the term "UAS" — unmanned aircraft system — began showing up on Uber's careers site. Since then, the company has been hiring remote drone pilots, test engineers, maintenance experts, safety managers, and more.

While the number of listings have been relatively low over time, rapid changes in the listings suggest that Uber is hiring aggressively and consistently for its nascent UAS drone delivery team.

The Wall Street Journal reported in October — 7 months after the first UAS listings appeared on Uber's careers site — that Uber plans to launch food-delivery drones by 2021. Uber has been somewhat quiet about the program, going so far as to remove job listings according to reports.

Because we track and keep records of job listings, we can construct here the makeup of the Uber UAS team, and when hiring for those positions began. Overall, 40 individual listings have appeared since March 2018, with some more in demand than others (i.e. listed more than once), with the possibility of being job postings that were taken down and reposted for whatever reason. The jobs spread across 12 distinct titles, all in San Francisco:

Job Title Posted Date
Airspace Simulation Specialist 3/9/2018
Airspace Systems - Senior Software Engineer - Uber Elevate 4/10/2018
Head of Public Policy, Urban Aviation 6/12/2018
Airspace Simulation Specialist 6/22/2018
Airspace Systems - Senior Software Engineer - Uber Elevate 6/22/2018
Head of Public Policy, Urban Aviation 6/22/2018
Airspace Simulation Specialist 6/25/2018
Head of Public Policy, Urban Aviation 6/25/2018
Airspace Systems - Senior Software Engineer - Uber Elevate 6/25/2018
Airspace Systems - Senior Software Engineer - Uber Elevate 7/3/2018
Head of Public Policy, Urban Aviation 7/3/2018
Airspace Simulation Specialist 7/3/2018
Airspace Systems - Senior Software Engineer - Uber Elevate 8/8/2018
Airspace Simulation Specialist 8/8/2018
Head of Public Policy, Urban Aviation 8/8/2018
Airspace Simulation Specialist 8/28/2018
UAS Flight Test Engineer 9/5/2018
UAS Flight Standards and Training 9/19/2018
Airspace Systems - Senior Software Engineer - Uber Elevate 9/19/2018
Engineering Manager, Airspace Systems - Uber Elevate 9/26/2018
Human Factors Engineer - Airspace Systems 10/16/2018
Human Factors Engineer - Airspace Systems 10/23/2018
UAS Flight Test Program Manager 10/29/2018
UAS Flight Standards and Training 10/29/2018
UAS Flight Test Engineer 10/30/2018
UAS Flight Operations Associate 10/30/2018
UAS Flight Test Program Manager 11/7/2018
UAS Flight Operations Associate 11/14/2018
UAS Flight Standards and Training 11/15/2018
UAS Flight Test Engineer 11/15/2018
UAS Flight Standards and Training 11/20/2018
Human Factors Engineer - Airspace Systems 11/27/2018
UAS Flight Standards and Training 11/28/2018
UAS Flight Operations Associate 11/28/2018
UAS Flight Operations Associate 1/23/2019
UAS Head of Aviation Maintenance 2/4/2019
Aviation Safety Manager 2/18/2019
Aviation Safety Manager 2/27/2019
UAS Flight Systems Integration Test Engineer 2/28/2019
UAS Flight Systems Integration Test Engineer 3/12/2019

The hiring and team makeup suggest that Uber is entering its test phase for its UAS delivery service. Test Program Manager hires also suggest that the company is getting serious about scaling out the team.

Over time, 40 jobs have been posted to Uber's careers site 

The drones, reportedly to be used first for Uber Eats food deliveries, will bring food delivery times down to as little as five minutes, according to statements from Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. 

“Push a button and get food on your doorstep,” he said. Testing is expected to begin in San Diego first, according to reports.

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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