This is a guest post from Karlyn McKell who explores the pros and cons of delivery drones for The Zebra.
Social distancing guidelines have made contactless delivery essential for many businesses and delivery services to continue operations. With the rise of online payment systems, customers can now purchase products and goods online, and then have them delivered without having to exchange pens or receipts with the deliverer.
Yet these packages are still transported to the delivery site by a human, so there is speculation over whether this delivery method is truly contactless and risk-free.
Enter delivery drones, which have been in test pilot for years and are awaiting FAA permissions to become mainstream. These devices do allow for contactless delivery, as the drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle. Delivery drones also offer a clean transit method, faster delivery, and safer transit. Concerns remain around increased noise pollution, regulation, privacy, and security.
So when will delivery drones become widespread? The first-ever drone delivery took place in New Zealand in 2016: it was a Dominos pizza order. Since then, companies around the world have been racing for delivery lift off.
Retailers Amazon and Walmart are in a race to get drones on the market. Amazon’s Prime Air fleet of octocopters will have a range of 7.5 miles, meaning the last leg of delivery will be completely unmanned. Walmart’s network of stores gives them a serious competitive edge over competitors such as Amazon, as they’ll be able to deliver their products directly from the storefront to nearby homes.
To learn more about delivery drones and how they work, check out this visual from The Zebra below!
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