For some years, retail giants have been suggesting they are about to roll-out drone delivery services, and now things are starting to get a step closer. Delivery drones are already being tested and used by various companies, so you can expect to see them becoming more and more widely used in the near future. A Blade Runner-type world is more imminent than you think, as drone deliveries begin to transform the retail landscape.
The famous delivery company DHL started carrying out drone deliveries in China recently. It has been using unmanned aerial vehicles like Ehang’s Falcon drones, which can bypass complex traffic and road conditions.
These drones can deliver across a five-mile route within just eight minutes. Every Falcon drone includes an accurate GPS and a smart real-time flight path and can carry up to 5kg of weight per flight. That means you can get all sorts of products delivered to your door.
For example, if you are a keen gamer, you could get video games delivered. But the ability to deliver heavy items like slot machines is still a very long way off, so in the meantime, you can play slot games at online casinos like Casumo.
The delivery behemoth UPS announced in 2019 that it had received a standard certification to operate a drone airline that can make deliveries for the commercial, industrial, and medical sectors.
UPS is also collaborating with the drone-making company Workhorse to test drones that can emerge from trucks’ rooves to complete last-minute autonomous deliveries. However, how close it is to perfecting that technology and rolling out drone delivery services is currently anyone’s guess.
In April 2019, the Wing drone, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, became the very first delivery drone to get approval by the Federal Aviation Authority to carry out test flights in the US. That means it was granted the same certifications as small airline craft.
In October, the Wing delivered its first package, for the US retailer Walgreens. Seeing as Walgreens has a store within five miles of nearly 80% of the US population, the Wing can potentially deliver a wide range of products throughout the country. However, Walgreens is still only conducting its pilot scheme at present, which is limited to retail deliveries in Virginia.
The Wing drone is also being tested in the Australian cities of Logan and Canberra, and Helsinki in Finland. So far, the drone has delivered a wide range of products to shoppers, from doughnuts to FedEx parcels. You can expect the Wing to be rolled out more in the not too distant future.
With other US companies testing drone delivery services, the retail giant Walmart does not want to be left behind. Although Walmart is not as close to other businesses in rolling out drones to deliver goods, the company is in the process of pioneering drones and their operations.
Walmart has filed for 97 drone patents since 2018. Unlike other companies, many of the patents focus on how to get parcels delivered into a building. Patented ideas include a slide tunnel that the packages could drop into. The slide would receive a signal from the drone that the delivery has been made. A trap door would then open to allow the package to be transported inside the building.
Amazon has now received the same permissions as Google’s Wing, from the Federal Aviation Authority, to test its drone delivery services. Amazon has been attempting to lead the way in drone deliveries for quite some time, and in June 2019, the company unveiled its new state-of-the-art delivery drone with six rotors.
The craft can take-off and land vertically and seamlessly fly forwards. It uses a combination of data from its various sensors, such as thermal, visual, and ultrasonic, to navigate autonomously. The new Amazon drone can transport packages weighing up to 2.3kg up to 15 miles within 30 minutes.
Perhaps worryingly, Amazon has also applied for a patent for a new surveillance system, which would enable the drones to become intelligent security cameras. That means the drones could check potential security issues of the home it is delivering to, such as broken windows or people loitering in the area. It would then send those images back to the owner of the property and local law enforcement… Retail Tech Innovation Hub