Kruiser's (Almost) Daily Distraction: Drone Deliveries Are Finally Happening and I Can't Wait 'Til They Get To Me

(Kruiser’s Permanote Description: This column is intended to be a lighthearted, short-form way to frequently connect with our cherished VIP readers. Sometimes it will be serious. Sometimes it will be fun. Sometimes it will be a cornucopia of intellectual curiosities and fascinations. OK, maybe not so much the last one. Anyway, as this is a departure for me, I’m including this explanation at the top of each post for a while. Also, non-subscribers can see the first couple of paragraphs so I am in desperate need of filler until we get to the private stuff (subscribe here). Please remember that there is a standing invitation to ask me anything in the comments. Once in a while, I’ll answer some of them.)

It’s not exactly The Jetsons, but it is a move in the right technological direction.


As I have stated many times over the years, I have an odd relationship with technology. While I am well aware of the potential pitfalls of smart devices and such, I am also a red-blooded American who places a high premium on convenience. Also, as a man of a certain age who grew up watching the aforementioned Jetsons, I want my damn hovercar already.

We’ve been teased about drone deliveries for years now, and I have been waiting for them to begin with open arms. The problem, as Axios recently noted, is the same thing that it always is when it comes to innovation and things we (maybe just I) want: government regulation.

I bet if we look into the hovercar delay, the FAA is hanging around like a drunk uncle.

The Wall Street Journal reports that regular folk — not just beta testers — are now receiving drone deliveries in select areas:

Delivery drones are arriving, at last.

After nearly a decade of largely unfulfilled hype about flying robots dropping orders at your doorstep, a handful of companies have started commercial operations in the U.S. involving dozens or hundreds of deliveries a day at each location. The companies are vying to be Americans’ choice when they want a bottle of Advil, a takeout meal, or the next iPhone delivered in under 30 minutes—once federal regulators enable broader rollouts.

Zipline recently started working on deliveries with Walmart at an Arkansas location, the San Francisco startup’s first commercial delivery station in the U.S. Flytrex, an Israeli startup focused on food delivery in the U.S. suburbs, just announced a new delivery station in Texas after two years of testing in North Carolina. Wing, a unit of Google parent Alphabet, has rapidly increased its deliveries in Virginia as a result of the pandemic., which kicked off the drone delivery buzz in 2013, also is still working on the technology, though it has been more reticent about its progress.

While I’m sure that it will be some time before the drones get to my humble desert village here, I am greatly encouraged by the news. Amazon does have fulfillment and distribution centers here so when they finally get going we should get bumped up the list.

Those of you who have become familiar with me over the years are aware that I’m a clinically odd mix of misanthrope and gregariousness. Yes, I crave the attention and validation in the form of applause from groups of strangers.

Then I want them to go away.

I began doing all of my shopping online — even my groceries — years before the pandemic. When presented with the option of hanging around randos in a store for half an hour or having my human interaction while grocery shopping reduced to a 45-second exchange with an Instacart driver, it was a no-brainer for me. Does it cost more?

I don’t know because I don’t care.

The thought of eliminating even that 45-second exchange is the future I’ve been waiting for.

I realize that I am not normal in this regard. My sister is the exact opposite. She must leave her house at least five times a day to go to various retail and food establishments. If I’d never seen her drink vodka I wouldn’t believe that we are from the same gene pool.

Part of the headline for the Axios post I cited earlier said, “Your burrito is arriving by drone.”

Now I know what I’m going to be dreaming about for the next couple of weeks.


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