Meituan UAV (美团无人机), the drone arm of China’s food delivery giant Meituan (美团, HK: 03690), has recently added a sixth flight path for its drone-powered takeout service.
According to the company’s official WeChat post, it set up a new drop-off point for drones to let go of its cargo in the Happy Valley amusement park in southern China’s Shenzhen on September 22.
To date, Meituan now operates six flight paths for its delivery drone fleet in the tech hub.
cnrobopedia reported early this month that the Internet heavyweight’s fifth drone flight path catering to scenic attractions was launched on September 4 in a local park of Shenzhen’s Nanshan District.
Consumers can order via mobile app between 10am to 5:30pm and have their meals and drinks airdropped by drones to the top of a Meituan-owned storage machine in the parks.
The machine then sucks the orders inside to keep them from the sun or rain. Users scan the QR code on their phones or input the retrieval code to remove their purchases from the machine.
Gearing up for a spike in holidaymakers
Meituan said the recent addition of a drone path is a strategic decision to gear up for the travel rush during the ongoing mid-Autumn Festival and weeklong National Day holiday.
As one of the country’s two largest local services providers, the firm has been rolling out its drone-enabled takeout scheme at an accelerated pace, trying to beat competition on cost savings and efficiency improvement.
To support its endeavor, Meituan’s smart drone manufacturing center in Longhua, a district of Shenzhen, opened on September 21 and became operational on the same day.
According to the company, the facility will produce more than 10,000 drones a year, and be responsible for the design, trial run, mass production and repair of these drones and related accessories.