Shenzhen-based Chinese delivery company
SF Expressis in the early stages of
putting drones in the skies that can deliver packages to remote areasaccording to the South China Morning Post.
SF Express has begun testing the drones in Guangdong province’s Dongguan city, and SCMP reports that the drones are “outfitted with eight propellers, comes complete with a space where packages can be inserted and can reach a flight altitude of about 100 meters.”
The idea of using drones for delivery is nothing new. Even delivering pizza’s via drone has been contemplated and tried along with all kinds of other unusual things. Though in the United States, a major hurdle for getting drones into the air for such worthwhile endeavours as pizza delivery is hampered by the fact that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not currently allow drones for commercial use in U.S. airspace.
Because of the early stage of commercial drone development and current flight restrictions, UPS and FedEx deliverymen need not worry about losing their jobs to sky robots quite yet.
But if courier companies like SF Express — essentially a UPS of the East — can make significant inroads in development and implementation of package-delivering drones, then parcels-via-drone suddenly becomes much closer to reality, at least for smaller package transportation.
While the SF Express drones are beingdeveloped with the intention of reaching difficult-to-get-to remote areas
, it’s hard not to imagine the potential benefits of having drone “deliverymen.”
The reasons why a company might want to add drones to a delivery fleet are apparent. They can reach remote locations where there are no roads. They can be pre-programmed with destination coordinates and can effectively fly in a straight line depending on altitude maximums (the SF Express drone has a ceiling of 100 meters).
The use of drones can also cut down on fuel costs associated with delivery. Why send a truck that takes fuel when you could send a drone and recharge the battery?
Just think of it, someday you could stand out on your front porch, morning coffee in hand, look up and watch as a whole buzzing network of drones go about their business delivering goods … and pizzas.
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