UPS tests drone delivery, launching UAV from top of truck
While that test might have been successful, UPS's system is still far from being ready for delivery.
"The drone lives on the roof of the truck; to use it, the UPS driver scans a package, puts it in a retractable cage that sits below the drone, and then plugs in a destination on a tablet near the driver's seat". In France, the postal service ran a test a year ago using drones on a rural mail route in the Provence region. It has a 30-minute flight time and can carry a package weighing up to 10 pounds.
The Tampa-area test, which UPS said went as expected, came less than a month after UPS said it would push forward investment in automation and technology as the company, along with rival FedEx Corp, struggles with slimmer margins from e-commerce business. UPS has around 66,000 delivery drivers on the road every day, and a reduction in driver mileage alone could save in the millions, the release said. Using a drone to deliver one package as the driver delivers another would reduce travel time and emissions.
Wallace assured that adding drone deliveries to the company's service repertoire would not jeopardize driver jobs: "Drivers are the face of our company, and that won't change", he said.
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On Monday, UPS unveiled its latest innovation in package delivery technology.
The drone was mounted on the top of a delivery truck. It's not legal to run a fully automated drone delivery service in the United States.
UPS has been testing the implications of drones on delivery for years, but the company said this was the first time it has studied how a drone could assist drivers with day-to-day deliveries.
Last month, Amazon said it successfully tested a drone delivery as part of its Prime Air program. It doesn't require a pilot. Even though the crash didn't knock anybody's head off, the idea that new kinds of radio interference can screw up the delivery drones compass means that UPS is going to do a lot more work before letting these things fly in public. Additionally, UPS is using drones extensively for humanitarian relief, partnering with third-party organizations to deliver life-saving blood and vaccines to hard-to-reach locations in Rwanda. The committee will provide the FAA recommendations on key drone integration issues that will ultimately allow for safe and secure operations of drones within the National Air Space System. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide.
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