Elevate Eats Drone (1)

The drone has a round trip range of 12 miles and can hold a hover in wind speeds of up to 30mph

Uber has unveiled a new food delivery drone design it says will take flight before the end of the year.

The drone can carry a meal for two and features rotating wings and six rotors.

Uber Elevate - the company’s aerial delivery and ride arm - said the drone had passed a “critical design review” and meal deliveries would be tested in San Diego next summer.

The company said a number of drone partner companies would also operate on the Uber Eats delivery platform during trials in the city next year.

The rotating wing design means rotors can face down for vertical take-offs, and turn to allow for “increased speed and efficiency during cruise flight” the company said.

The drone has a round trip range of 12 miles, is designed to perform a “maximum delivery leg in eight minutes including loading and unloading” and can hold a hover in wind speeds of up to 30mph.

The US Federal Aviation Administration earlier this year gave the company the go-ahead to test drone food deliveries in San Diego. To comply with the approval, the drone must cruise at altitudes below 400 feet.

For the trials it is expected restaurants will prepare meals and load them on to the drone at a staging site. The drone will fly to a second site - potentially a parked Uber car with a large QR code on its roof - where an Uber Eats courier will pick it up and deliver the meal to the customer’s door.

Uber would not confirm when or if Uber Eats deliveries by drone would be seen in the UK.

Wing, an arm of Google parent company Alphabet, is currently running food delivery trials in Canberra, Australia. Residents can order coffee, gelato, doughnuts and snacks from a small group of independent vendors, as well as breakfast burritos from a local restaurant chain Guzman y Gomez. Wing food deliveries are also underway in Helsinki, Finland.

Following testing in Cambridge in 2016, Amazon in June said packages would be delivered by drone “within months