How’s this for what could possibly be the coolest job ever? Uber is hiring an FAA-certified drone pilot for a role in its drone team — and the job posting indicates that the role will heavily revolve around using drones for food delivery.
Uber posted a job description for a “UAS Flight Standards and Training Technical Program Manager.” The person in that role will “develop standards and the operational manuals needed to enable urban aerial delivery of uberEATS products” and “design training programs for all Uber UAS aviation personnel and ensure compliance with local, state, federal, and international regulations.”
Uber is pretty light on “must-haves” with the role, requiring just a bachelor’s degree in a “business-related field,” 3-5 years of work experience. There is one thing you will need: a FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot certificate.
The Part 107 Aeronuatical Knowledge Test for UAS operators is a mandatory test under Federal Aviation Administration rules for anyone looking to fly drones commercially. Pass the test, and you’ll get a license, which allows you to operate under the standards set under Part 107.
Other nice-to-haves in the job posting include a FAA Private Pilot certificate in either rotorcraft or airplanes, “a unique understanding of aviation operations and economic impacts of decisions,” and expertise in FAA and ICAO regulations.
The person filling this role would report to Luke Fischer, Uber’s Head of Flight Operations, and work closely with Mark Moore, Director of Aviation Engineering, Director of Airspace Systems Tom Prevot, and Head of Operations and Safety Stan Swaintek.
The job would be based in San Francisco, and work closely with the UberEats, the food delivery arm of San Francisco ride-hailing giant Uber.
Uber has seen massive success with its UberEats delivery arm. Whereas Uber as a whole has been unprofitable. The company in February reported that, while it had narrowed its net loss in the fourth quarter of 2018 from a year earlier, its losses for the quarter rose 88 percent from the previous year, to $842 million.
UberEats has been somewhat of a standout from much of Uber’s other business arms though. The delivery service is available in more than 100 markets around the world and, according to the New York Times, sometimes eclipses Uber’s main ride-hailing business in markets like Tokyo; Taipei, Taiwan; and Seoul, South Korea. In the 12-month period between March 2016 and 2017, the number of trips taken by UberEats drivers grew by more than 24x. That said, the margins are smaller on Uber Eats orders because Uber must pay commissions to both restaurants and delivery drivers.
Uber also has a drone team is called Uber Elevate, which includes broader aerial ridesharing (likely for humans) — not just food delivery via drone. Uber said that its “shared air transportation” service, Uber Air, could arrive by 2023. Uber Elevate also has a number of other job openings, including engineers and product managers.
Uber is one of the companies partnering in the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program which pairs up 10 state, local and tribal governments with larger private companies, including Flirtey and Google, to test types of drone flights that are currently banned in the U.S., including flying drones at night, flying over people and package delivery. That data is intended to help the U.S. government craft new rules around more complex drone operations.
Uber Technologies Inc, is planning to kick off its IPO in April, according to Reuters, and has been valued by investment bankers at as much as $120 billion.