Chipotle drone delivery testing begins in Blacksburg

Published: Sep. 14, 2016 at 6:34 PM EDT
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The future is here. This week Chipotle deliveries aren't coming by car, but by drone.

A chosen few are collecting their lunch from the air.

The research that's being collected through all this could make a big impact on drone deliveries to come. That's not Superman you'll see flying through the air in Blacksburg, it's a flying burrito.

WDBJ7 told you last week Project Wing and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech were partnering to test food delivery. They followed through with their project and are now delivering Chipotle burritos in Blacksburg.

"I hope it starts here and spreads everywhere. I think it could be a really good idea," a student told WDBJ7 before ordering his meal.

"I live in Radford so that would be pretty cool to get it delivered and I don't have to drive here any more," one student told us after making the trip to Blacksburg.

Sadly, burritos aren't flying just anywhere. The delivery is only available for a few hundred people invited to take part in the project for the next few days at an undisclosed location on Virginia Tech property.

Researchers are being very secretive about their trial runs. The testing site is closed to the public but the word about what researchers are delivering is spreading around town.

Those lucky few order their food from a kiosk. It's prepared on a Chipotle food truck on site, then delivered by drone a few hundred meters and lowered to the ground. Welcome to the future.

"I think it says a lot about the technology, or the work Virginia Tech does to improve technology. I think they find it a good place to try it out," a student told us on his way into Chipotle.

"It's pretty cool. I don't think any other restaurant doesn't anything like that," one student told us.

There is more to this than just sending food through the air.

Researchers are supplying data to the Federal Aviation Administration with plans to deliver medicine or batteries to rural areas or after a natural disaster.

Project Wing sees drone delivery as a clean way to help the climate.

Researchers say 3.1 billion gallons of fuel were wasted in traffic congestion in this country alone in 2014.