View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Networks
February 22, 2017

UPS tests drone delivery, UAV successfully launched from truck

UPS has successfully tested it's first autonomous commercial delivery drone

By Joe Clark

UPS has announced the successful test of an automated drone delivery system.

The test, carried out in Florida, managed to successfully launch a drone from the top of a UPS truck, deliver a package, and then return to the vehicle which had continued along its original delivery route.

The company believes that this automated drone delivery service has the potential to revolutionise it’s delivery operations, particularly in remote areas in which drivers have long trips between additional destinations.

Drone

Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability, said: “This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery.”

“Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”

UPS has roughly 66,000 drivers on the road every day, and believes that a reduction of just one mile per driver each day could save the company over $50 million a year.

Content from our partners
How designers are leveraging tech to apply the brakes to fast fashion
Why the tech sector must embrace faster, smarter talent recruitment
Sherif Tawfik: The Middle East and Africa are ready to lead on the climate

The delivery giant believes the potential for this technology is best when used in tandem with it’s drivers rather than replacing them.

Wallace said: “Drivers are the face of our company, and that won’t change.”

“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.”

Though experts say large scale drone deliveries still have a way to go, UPS has been testing drones and automated technology for several years. just last year the Federal Aviation Administration issued rules that allow for small scale commercial deliveries.

Stephen Burns, Workhorse founder and CEO, said: “It’s wonderful to see this technology applied in such a practical way.”

“The drone is fully autonomous. It doesn’t require a pilot. So the delivery driver is free to make other deliveries while the drone is away.”

 

UPDATE: The second test of the Drone was more problematic and saw the drone tip on take off and almost crushed by the truck’s closing roof.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.
THANK YOU