UPS testing commercial delivery drones

United Parcel Service (UPS) has announced that it is testing the concept of using drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult to access locations. UPS is doing this with commercial drone manufacturer CyPhy Works.

The first test began earlier this week with the companies running a mock delivery of medicine from Beverly, Mass to Children’s Island that is around three miles off the coast of New England.

The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund has recently invested in the CyPhy Works company, allowing the two companies to work together to gather information about delivery drone use and capabilities.

“Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability.

“We think drones offer a great solution to deliver to hard-to-reach locations in urgent situations where other modes of transportation are not readily available.”

The United States has already set itself a step behind the UK with regulation of drone use. The US FAA recently gave permits for drone testing that had to be line of sight and run by a dedicated flight operator – not different to someone flying a plane. The UK’s CAA however has set regulations in place that suit flights of unmanned aircraft that will be controlled by a computer and do not have to be for line of sight flight. Delivery companies aiming at replacing staff with aerial robots much prefer this concept as they can ultimately save money – the US system being far more restrictive and labour intensive. As such the UK will help lead the development of such technologies while the US will lag behind.

Subscribe to Newsletter