5 Apr 19

First commercial drones are delivering

While drones are often discussed as the next – flying – last mile solution in urban areas, there is already a commercial drone delivery scheme active in the US. 

The first commercial drone delivery scheme is an initiative of shipping company UPS, which has started using them to deliver medical samples in the US. As a result, the drones are operating around the WakeMed hospital and at campus in Raleigh in North Carolina. Since their first flight last Tuesday the drones are now flying across the campus 10 times a day. If the schedule turns out to be a success, the frequency will be increased. 

Good to know, the drone scheme is not only unique in its kind, but it is the first revenue-generating drone delivery scheme that is even approved by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of a three-year pilot programme. 
UPS uses them now for medical deliveries since the drones can carry up to 2.3 kilos, and fly 20 km. Although they are flying autonomously, a human pilot is monitoring them in case of accidents. Perfect to carry small medical samples between the hospital and the campus. 

By using the drones unnecessary ground traffic between the hospital and the campus can be avoided, not only cleaning up the last mile, but speeding it up as well. 

Authored by: Fien Van den steen