In the Future a Cool Drone Carrying a UPS Package Could Be Coming to Your Neighborhood The drone was launched from atop a UPS package car.
A drone carrying a UPS (UPS) package could be coming to a rural area near you in the future.
The Atlanta-based logistics company on Tuesday said it successfully tested a drone that launched from the top of an electric UPS package car.
The drone autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle, while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery. UPS conducted the test on Monday in Tampa, FL with Workhouse Group (WKHS) , a battery-electric truck and drone developer.
Drones can help UPS with rural delivery routes that are most expensive to serve because of the time and vehicle expenses needed to complete each delivery.
Drones can also be used in hard to reach places or disaster areas and to deliver biomedicines with short life spans customized for individuals, UPS CEO David Abney told reporters at the company's investor conference in New York on Tuesday.
UPS already uses drones (see below photo) to deliver blood and vaccines in Rwanda "many times a day," Abney said.
In Monday's test, the drone made one delivery while the driver continued down the road to make another. This is a possible role UPS sees for drones in the future, the company said.
"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," said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability.
With UPS's on-road integrated optimization navigation (ORION) routing software, a reduction of one mile per driver per day can save the company up to $50 million over a year. UPS has about 66,000 delivery drivers on the road each day.
The test shows how drones could help in making non-urgent residential deliveries as part of day-to-day operations.
UPS Chief Financial Officer Richard Peretz noted that government policy regarding drones is still being developed, and they'll have to see what the regulation will be.
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