Tacos Meet Helicopters

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Mar 27, 2012    •    588 Views

By Mira Korber, guest blogger.

Hunger strikes. You desperately scan Main Street for any sign of your favorite food: tacos. There’s nothing in sight and your handy UrbanSpoon iPhone app has failed miserably in finding restaurants that serve food from anywhere south of Texas.

So you call in the Tacocopter.

OK, maybe it hasn’t really come into our lives yet, but one day your tacos may possibly fly right to your feet with this taco-toting-helicopter.  The basic idea of Tacocopter is simple and clever: you order tacos online through your smartphone, and have them delivered directly to you by an unmanned helicopter, which then flies back to a restaurant to fill more orders.

However, progress launching the Tacocopter has stalled (no pun intended) for a number of reasons. The US government is wary of pilot-less flying objects (officially dubbed “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) hurling through the air for commercial pursuits. Also the potential risks of crashing with birds, injuring innocent bystanders, delivering to the right person, and spontaneous combustion all must be taken into account.

Speaking of advancing transportation technology, self-driving cars are in the works as well. And for a funny glimpse into the “future” of technology and food, take a look here.

The Economic Lesson

With technological advancement and innovation comes Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction. As Marginal Revolution points out, the Tacocopter model could present a phenomenal variety of uses, including delivery of medications to the elderly and disabled.

Therefore, what would the Tacocopter mean for delivery services as a whole? What would happen to delivery people bringing food to your doorstep? Waiters and waitresses?

Look here for an interesting graph and article showing how technologies have increased exponentially since the 1400s.

An Economic Question: What other uses do you see for the Tacocopter model?

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