Move Over, Ice Cream Trucks — Ice Cream Drones Are Officially Here

Aside from such beloved vehicles like the Batmobile and Oscar Mayer's Weinermobile, the ice cream truck is one of the most famous American inventions on the road today. Smithsonian Magazine credits Ohio confectioner Harry Burt for pioneering the first mobile ice cream truck, the Good Humor van, in the 1920s. Since then, colorful ice cream trucks have rolled up and down the streets of suburbia, tolling their tinny music as a siren, gathering the young and old alike to step up to the window and pick from a wide variety of ice cream treats. 

Even the COVID-19 pandemic couldn't have stopped the Good Humor men from making their appointed rounds. AARP reports a story of one ice cream man making door-to-door deliveries to customers stuck at home, bringing a bit of ice-cold happiness to a community under isolation.

But, just as the summer sun inevitably melts all ice cream, the future inevitably brings change. It seems that recent developments are shifting the delivery of ice cream away from trucks and toward drones. How exactly can a drone deliver ice cream in the same way an ice cream truck can, though?

Drones can deliver bundles of ice cream

As Grocery Dive reports, consumer goods company Unilever has partnered with Flytrex, a drone-delivery service, for the purpose of delivering ice cream from Unilever's online ice cream shop. Customers will be able to place an order through The Ice Cream Store and have their ice cream delivered to them via drone, all in under a few minutes and without ever leaving their homes.

But this service isn't without a few catches. According to QSR Magazine, the only places that have the delivery service are areas to which Flytrex can deliver: Holly Springs, Fayetteville, and Raeford in North Carolina and Granbury, Texas. Users must also order in "bundles," packages of ice cream that include brands such as Breyer's, Klondike, and Ben & Jerry's. There are a total of six bundles to choose from, each containing four to eight different varieties of ice cream. If you're an ice cream lover, this is certainly no problem, but you should still make room for all the ice cream you'll be getting.

Does this spell the end of ice cream trucks? Not for the moment, it would seem. The classic ice cream truck isn't going to be phased out overnight, so you'll still have plenty of time to hear that famous jingling as it drives through your town. Drone-based delivery services, however, seem to be catching on as of late. Walmart announced that it will be offering drone delivery of groceries in a few select locations.