UPS successfully tests autonomous drone delivery in the U.S.

UPS Truck delivery

UPS successfully tested a residential delivery via a drone that launches from the top of a package car, the shipping company has announced. The drone delivered a package to a home and then returned to the vehicle while the delivery driver continued along the route to the next drop-off.

The test was conducted on Monday in Tampa, Florida alongside Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer. Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car that were used in the test.

“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 kilometres to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, senior vice-president of global engineering and sustainability, UPS. “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are kilometres apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly kilometres driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”

For this test, Workhorse preset the route for the drone. In the future, however, routes could be determined by UPS’s On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION), which is the company’s proprietary routing software.

UPS has roughly 102,000 delivery drivers on the road every day.

Many companies are looking to delivering packages with drones, such as Amazon, which may be planning to use parachutes for its future remote drop-off ambitions.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Newswire