Eps 1: Drone deliveries

Drone Deliveries in 2020

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Ruby Ferguson

Ruby Ferguson

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It is not yet clear whether drones will succeed as a common method of delivery or remain a gimmick. They can travel long distances quickly competing Google drones, for example, can fly up to 65 km h but they cannot deliver goods in the same cities where they are best served. However, if they could prove more efficient at handling deliveries than hiring largescale human drivers, the use cases could make them a viable alternative to traditional delivery methods.nIn early May, CVS, in partnership with UPS, began delivering prescription drugs by drone to Floridas largest retirement community, the Villages. Older people and the homeless could get the medications they need without leaving the house, and something like UPS offers.nLast October, Alphabet owned by Wing Aviation launched its first drone delivery service in Christiansburg, VA. The service is now supported by the US Department of Health and the Federal Aviation Administration .nUber, which is working with McDonalds to test drone deliveries in San Diego, says its drones deliver three times faster than bikes and cars. In 2016, DJI launched its first drone, the first to incorporate machine learning to track objects by tracking GPS signals along a programmed route. Amazon pounced with its own dronebased delivery system last year, though there are no details yet on when the company will actually begin largescale commercial shipments using drones.nTodays drone climate has led to the emergence of dozens of new drone startups across the country, aiming to bring drone deliveries into everyday life. The announcements come more from the FAA than from tech companies, as the delivery of drones in the United States is finally nearing its first commercial use.nBut is this just a fad, or is there a real possibility that crowded skies will supply food and drone parts for your new socks?nSince Amazon began developing drones to deliver to consumers in 2013, a variety of companies, including UPS and FedEx, have pushed their own plans for the technology and their respective businesses. Of course, companies like Amazon, Google, and USPS all think the same way about their projects, but the law really boils down to that. Do we know that drone delivery can be a sustainable technology, and if so, how long will it last?nBut the technologys commercial cargo potential continues, Blades says, and its still in its infancy.nBlades estimates that between 2019 and 2023, about 100,000 drones will be used for cargo applications and operated by niche providers. In 2014, San Francisco based in Zipline, the worlds largest freight and delivery company for drones launched its first commercial drone delivery service. And in 2019, UPSFF will begin operating commercial drones for delivery flights, starting with a test flight at the companys headquarters in San Jose, California, in October.nUPSFF later announced plans to establish a drone delivery service on several health campuses and is exploring the possibility of delivering prescriptions and medical products to retail stores in residential environments. The company has delivered thousands of medical samples in the past year, according to Blades, complementing the ground courier service.nAccording to FAA regulations, there are several companies testing drone systems in the United States. In September 2019, UPSFF was approved to operate as a drone airline and completed drone deliveries for the US Department of Homeland Securitys National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.nAmazon has tested drones under its Prime Air brand and found that 86 of drone packages weigh less than five pounds.nThe UPS plan would be particularly effective in rural areas, where the likelihood of launching drones from distribution warehouses is high, the researchers said. Drones could be launched from traditional delivery vehicles, allowing drivers to deliver more packages and save fuel costs. According to the study, UPS plans would also be particularly effective in rural areas, where drones are more likely to be stationed in rural than urban areas, where they have fewer options for transporting parcels. As a result, drones must avoid hightraffic areas such as roads, roadsides, and parking lots.nWhile drones improve traditional parcel delivery methods, they are not a silver bullet for overcoming the transportation industrys emissions problems. The drones currently used for delivery services are lightweight, meaning they can only carry small, light packages over short distances.nFor example, a wing drone can carry a package up to 3 pounds, which could replace a traditional parcel delivery service such as UPS or FedEx. Bite Squad drivers would complement the drone service by handling deliveries in the drone area. They would have their own drones to make real contact fewer deliveries, and restaurants could load food into a shipping box attached to a drone and send it out, controlled by someone who would normally do the delivery.n