UPS announced on September 23, 2016 that it has begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations, working together with drone-maker CyPhy Works.
Testing began on September 22, 2016 when the companies staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass. to Children’s Island, which is about three miles off the Atlantic coast.
The drone flight advances an investment made by The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund in CyPhy to gather information about drone uses and capabilities.
Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability, said: “Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers.
“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.
Last month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued new rules that expanded the uses of drones in commercial applications; operators must adhere to important safety regulations.
Helen Greiner, CyPhy’s founder and chief technology officer, said: “We’re thrilled to partner with UPS in this endeavour; drone technology used in this way can save lives and deliver products and services to places that are difficult to reach by traditional transit infrastructures.”
Drones have been prevalent in shipping and product delivery news recently, with a video released by Prodrone showing their product capable of handling dangerous and heavy materials.
The Port of Rotterdam also recently showcased the Aquadrone, which is capable of inspecting concrete structures for an oil terminal and visualises them in 3D; this is done at places where it is too difficult, dangerous or undesirable to use manned solutions. This includes under jetties, bridges and other structures.