The idea of using drones to make deliveries isn’t new, and we have seen how companies such as Amazon and 7-Eleven are looking to take advantage of the technology. In fact in some countries such as Singapore, local postal services are also looking into using drones to deliver snail mail.
This is why it doesn’t really come as a surprise to see that courier company UPS is also looking into the technology. In fact just recently the company ran a test in which made use of drones to make “last mile” deliveries. Basically the idea is to increase efficiency where while the driver drives to some of their destinations, the drone can be deployed from the back of the truck to make deliveries as well, thus saving the driver and UPS time in the process.
This is especially true for rural areas which UPS claims are the most expensive to serve due to time and vehicle expenses incurred. According to UPS, even the possibility of saving one mile per driver per day could save the company as much as $50 million. Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability says, “Drivers are the face of our company, and that won’t change.”
He adds, “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.” At the moment UPS’ efforts are thanks to a collaboration between them and Workhorse Group who supplied the truck and the drones. It is currently in testing and UPS will probably need FAA approval before it actually becomes an actual service that we can expect in the future.