Will drones replace the pizza delivery guy?

Domino's U.K. franchise used a drone to deliver two pizzas earlier this week. Will this successful test (and PR stunt) evolve into a real business strategy?

Late night munchie attacks have long been quelled by the food delivery drivers who toil through the wee hours to help hungry, often tipsy partiers. In the U.K., drones could one day take over the job.

Domino's U.K. franchise posted a YouTube video this week showing a pizza being delivered by an unmanned drone called the DomiCopter. Drone company AeroSight, which created and operated the DomiCopter, safely delivers two pizzas in the test run.

The test run is more publicity stunt than business announcement. The U.K. franchise doesn't provide a timeline or any details about when the drone service might be rolled. In the tongue-and-cheek press release, the company does reveal that "a Domino's Flight Academy is also rumored to be in the pipeline should the DomiCopter delivery service take off."

Pizza-delivering drones aren't coming to the U.S. anytime soon. Domino's U.S. operations made it clear this was an independent franchise experiment, not a corporate-wide change in its business model, reported CNN. Plus, commercial drones are currently not allowed under U.S. law.

However, the prospect of thousands of commercial drones eventually floating around U.S. homes and businesses isn’t so far fetched. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 includes requirements for integrating unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, into the national airspace system by 2015. In February, the FAA issued a government request for proposals to establish six test ranges for drones in the U.S. where unmanned aircraft be legally flown.

The agency has already issued 1,428 permits to domestic drone operators, such as police, universities and federal agencies, since 2007.

Photo: Domino's Pizza UK

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com