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.