It was almost inevitable that 2020 would draw to a close with autonomous chicken delivery.
As the coronavirus epidemic continues to sweep across the globe, people have become used to contactless services, and the food industry, in particular, has had to reevaluate the way in which it delivers food to customers, especially those stuck at home. Chinese companies Neolix and Yum Brands, which owns KFC in the country might have come up with the perfect solution: self-driving cars. While cars such as the Tesla Model S offer self-driving capabilities, level 5 autonomous driving is still out of reach for most manufacturers, and Mercedes-Benz, one of the world's leading manufacturers has even pulled out of the race with its S-Class citing that it is costing the company too much money. But can you really put a price on deep-fried chicken?
Contactless chicken from the Colonel is now a reality in parts of China. These little drumsticks-on-wheels act as mini KFC restaurants. Last month, news broke that Neolix and Yum had started work on a driverless food delivery service with KFC and Pizza Hut being the main beneficiaries of this new service, and it turns out that Colonel burgers and chicken strips have taken priority over pizza pies. These little self-driving pods have also been used in the great crusade to disinfect the streets of Chinese cities.
From the pictures, it seems as though customers pay via a QR code and then simply take their order out of a small food container. The trucks are clearly too small for a team of cooks, so it is safe to assume that the trucks come pre-packed with food.
In the post-pandemic world, it seems as though this type of human interaction with fast-food companies will become the new normal, which should bring some relief to customers around the world; who wants to make eye contact with another human when ordering that family bucket and three portions of nuggets for one.