The staff of Fortune recently assembled its predictions for 2017. Here’s one of our forecasts.
The past year, we’ve seen drones deliver an assortment of fast-food items like pizza, burritos, fried chicken sandwiches, and Slurpees. Expect to see more of these one-off junk-food drone deliveries next year as big fast-food companies like Chipotle
and Domino’s Pizza use them as marketing stunts.
However, those expecting drone deliveries to usurp traditional methods involving cars and postal workers in 2017 will likely have to wait a few years.
For more on drones, watch this Fortune video:
Although the Federal Aviation Administration recently announced rules that make it easier for businesses to legally use drones, there’s still much work to be done before a national drone delivery system will be in effect. For example, companies still can’t legally fly drones at night or outside the line of sight of their operators without special exemption—two possible barriers to routine drone deliveries. Additionally, NASA is still in the early stages of creating a national air-traffic management system tailored for drones. This technology would be necessary if the U.S. were to have drones safely sharing the airspace with planes while they delivery toothbrushes and toilet paper to residents.