UPS Tests Drone Delivery in 360-Degree Video

UPS Tests Drone Delivery in 360-Degree Video

UPS is represented on the Drone Advisory Committee for the Federal Aviation Administration, which just a year ago officially released rules and regulations on the use of small, unmanned electronic flying devices.

United Parcel Service tested a drone that delivered a package about a quarter of a mile from the top of a truck to a blueberry farm outside of Tampa, Fla. Bezos kills it. But let's not forget about another delivery giant, UPS, which just announced this morning that it successfully delivered a package in Florida using a drone. In effect, UPS wants to turn their delivery trucks into drone motherships. Previous tests involved other manufacturers' drones and niche uses, such as delivering medical supplies in remote areas of Rwanda. It's able to carry a package up to 10-pounds heavy, and recharges its battery whenever it's docked. Rural delivery routes are the most expensive to serve due to the time and vehicle expenses required to complete each delivery. "This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time", he said.

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But UPS has no timeline for when drones might be put into wider use, Dodero said, partly because federal authorities are still developing regulations on how to use the technology.

He declined to say whether the company's workforce could be trimmed by attrition as UPS expands drone delivery. UPS said it hopes the drones will move into this capacity, however, current FAA restrictions to "line-of-sight" operation of drones still hamper the sort of autonomy that these deliveries require. UPS now has one of its executives on the FAA's drone advisory council, an indication of its interest in drones. The drone, made by a company called Workhorse, flew out of a retractable roof on the truck to make the delivery. "What's exciting is the potential for drones to aid drivers at various points along their routes, helping them save time and deliver on increasing customer service needs that stem from the growth of e-commerce". UPS has about 66,000 delivery drivers on the road each day. Under a new system tested by UPS this week, drones could help speed up a delivery driver's route by splitting the work. In September it stated a mock delivery from Beverly, an island off the Atlantic coast, over open water. And, while the FAA has now ruled out drone delivery, UPS has been working with the administration as part of its advisory committee.

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