Amazon showed the world a glimpse of the future Sunday, when its CEO announced that the company is working on unmanned drones that could deliver packages to customers. Not to be outdone, UPS is also saying that it is also working on its own drone implementation strategy.
According to the verge.com:
“Sources familiar with the company’s plans say it has been testing and evaluating different approaches to drone delivery. Asked for a comment, a company spokesman said, ‘The commercial use of drones is an interesting technology and we’ll continue to evaluate it. UPS invests more in technology than any other company in the delivery business, and we’re always planning for the future.’
“UPS has a number of different ways it might utilize drones. It could offer something similar to Amazon’s Prime Air, or it might use them to help move packages around its own warehouses. [Rya] Calo was skeptical of the video offered up by Amazon, where a drone drops off a package in a family’s suburban driveway. ‘I think from both a tech and a policy perspective, delivering to consumers in residential areas is going to be tough thing to accomplish any time soon,’ says Calo, a law professor specializing in drones and robotics. “But a company like UPS could use drones to bring packages quickly and cheaply from a major airport or city to pick-up centers in more remote locations, speeding up delivery for a lot of customers.”
Although the use of drones to deliver packages to people’s doorsteps seems more likely to happen in the distant future, some experts think the contrary.
As also reported by theverge.com:
“Others in the industry are more bullish on how quickly a drone delivery service could be up and running. According to Colin Guinn, the North American CEO for the drone manufacturer DJI, ‘A company like Amazon or UPS could have a safe, operational fleet in 18-24 months,’ he tells The Verge. ‘What we need in terms of tech is improved object detection and avoidance, because GPS coordinates alone won’t cut it if you got a car or some kids in the driveway.'”
Drone delivery is an intriguing implantation of technology. Not only would it potentially increase the customer experience with much shorter delivery times, but it would also drive down the cost of delivery since an unmanned vehicle would cost far less to operate.