UPS tests delivering packages with drones

LATHIA, Fla. (WSYX/WTTE) - UPS announced they have successfully tested a drone that delivers packages from the top of a UPS package car in Florida Monday.

According to the shipping company, the drone autonomously delivered a package to a home then returned to the vehicle while the driver continued to make a separate delivery.

“This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”

UPS said they worked with Ohio-based Workhorse Group to make the delivery possible. Workhouse built the drone and the electric package car used in the test.

According to UPS, the use of drones can help minimize the amount of driving needed to deliver packages. They said a reduction of just one mile a day over a year could save the company up to $50 million.

“Drivers are the face of our company, and that won’t change,” Wallace said. “What’s exciting is the potential for drones to aid drivers at various points along their routes, helping them save time and deliver on increasing customer service needs that stem from the growth of e-commerce.”

More information on the UPS flight test can be found on their website.

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