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FedEx trials delivery drones... so what's new?


FedEx trials delivery drones... so what's new?

Ian Kerr

Let’s say it’s the middle of winter, and the streets of Christiansburg (Virginia, USA) are covered in snow, and no vehicles can traverse the streets. Drone delivery might make sense - assuming it’s not still snowing, or it’s not too windy.

Critical supplies could be delivered to isolated residents. And by “critical supplies”, I obviously mean “warm hat”. (Watch the video at the end of this post.)

Let’s start with the facts. A FedEx drone recently completed a residential delivery to a home in Christiansburg, kicking off the first scheduled, commercial residential drone delivery service (it’s a trial!) in the USA.

During the trial, airborne drones will transport packages to residents in designated delivery zones who have signed up for the trial.

“We hope that this latest addition to our delivery options will enhance the last mile service for urgent same-day deliveries, customers in rural or semi-rural areas, and other exceptional delivery needs.” - Don Colleran, President & CEO of FedEx Express

The drones are from Wing, which has FAA approval to conduct scheduled, commercial drone package delivery to residences. The trial is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program.

Exceptional delivery needs

What’s somehow encouraging about this is the statement from the FedEx Express CEO that drone delivery could be useful for “exceptional delivery needs”.

That’s right: exceptional. Not standard delivery of a pizza. Or a warm hat. Or non-prescription healthcare items. Exceptional delivery needs.

Anyway, check out the video from FedEx of an unexceptional drone delivery. There is a future for drone delivery, but this ain’t it.

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