When the FAA finally released commercial drone regulations earlier this year, many executives were disappointed . The rules -- especially the requirement that pilots keep drones within their line of sight -- dampened dreams of commercial delivery services. Steve Burns, CEO of Workhorse, a company that specializes in electric delivery trucks, has an unusually optimistic view. With that in mind, Workhorse plans to start using drones to deliver packages at the end of August. They have already been testing the system with a Section 333 Exemption, and the next step is conforming to the FAA's new rules.
A Work Horse Group drone that docks on top of a UPS van being tested near Lithia, Florida. SAN FRANCISCO -- Both the drone industry and federal regulators are years away from actual legal drone deliveries in the United States. But that's not stopping companies from testing possibilities, both to get the visual of a drone with their logo out in front of the public and to see what works. UPS was the latest to try something new with drones on Tuesday when it ran a test of a truck-launched drone delivery system for rural areas in Lithia, Fla. The drone-equipped vans would only be used on rural routes, said Mark Wallace, senior vice president for global engineering and sustainability, UPS.
Drones are slowly but steadily becoming mainstream with its increasing use by the military and enthusiasts alike. However, the commercial usage of drones for business-to-customer operations is what will actually make them common. One such usage of drones is for making deliveries. Unmanned aerial vehicles might be a great alternative to the current system of making deliveries. Big tech companies such as Google, retail giants such as Amazon and even specialized delivery services such as UPS are betting on drone deliveries as the alternative to the current system of human-based deliveries, which comes at high-costs, doesn't have a high rate of making timely deliveries and even increases base costs due to pilferage.
Your FedEx package might someday be delivered by a robot. Rob Carter, FedEx's chief information officer, says the shipping giant is considering small vehicles that could drive around neighborhoods and make deliveries without human drivers. Carter is responsible for setting the technology agenda across FedEx's various operating companies, including its planes-and-trucks Express shipping service and office-and-home Ground delivery service, which operate in 220 countries. The investments FedEx makes in AI and robotics technologies could shape the multi-trillion-dollar logistics market, affecting everything from the way people send and receive parcels to the global movement of large fleets of vehicles. Fedex is working with the startup Peloton Technology, whose semi-autonomous technology electronically links trucks into small caravan groups called platoons.