On October 21, UPS – the US shipping giant – announced a partnership with CVS – the largest US drugstore chain – to launch a drone shipping program for pharmacies.
Drones are expected to deliver both drugs and other utility products directly to customers. UPS also added that it is working with the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the proposed destinations in the new shipping program.
In March, UPS announced a partnership with Matternet Company to use drones to transport medical equipment at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Prior to UPS, another drugstore chain, Walgreens, also said it would start offering drone delivery in Christiansburg, Virginia. The two partners with Walgreens were also revealed to be FedEx and Alphabet’s drone transport service (parent company Google), Project Wing.
|Wing’s delivery aircraft. Photo: Bloomberg.|
“We are testing new solutions,” said Walgreens Innovation Director Vish Sankaran.
For pharmacies with small quantities of goods, drone delivery is a new solution to compete with e-commerce companies. Sankaran also said that Walgreen specifically targets those who often stay at home, such as parents or the elderly.
In April, Wing – a startup project initiated by Alphabet (Google’s parent company) – became the first drone delivery company approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to allow commercial deliveries. trade in the US.
According to Reuters , this certificate is only valid for 2 years and then needs to be extended. Meanwhile, in early October, UPS drone service, Flight Forward, also received a response from FAA and was licensed to operate in the air.
The future of drone transport has attracted a lot of attention since the first days of concept. In 2011, startups like Matternet and Zipline began to jump into this new category of delivery.
By 2013, Amazon announced its Prime Air delivery service with the expectation of bringing packages directly to customers’ homes with a drone.
However, the FAA side proved to be quite slow in certifying this type of transportation. This has led a number of companies, including Amazon and Wing, to test their technology abroad.
There are many reasons for FAA to be wary of drone delivery. The most noticeable thing is that the drones can be completely hacked to become a mobile explosive.
|Drone transports Zipline’s blood in Rwanda. Photo: Zipline .|
In late 2018, a drone brought flights to Gatwick International Airport in London to be halted for a day and a half.
Drones promise to be a big business. Companies are currently working on drones to transport goods to countries with poor infrastructure.
Zipline used drones to transport blood to hospitals or health centers for an average of 20-30 minutes in Rwanda. By 2019, Zipline continues to launch a drone drug distribution network to more than 2,000 clinics in remote areas of Ghana.
TechTalk via Zing.vn