Not to be outdone by Amazon, UPS is researching potential drone use in its business as well, reports The Verge.
Believe it or not, it seems that the company stands a sizeable chance at beating Amazon to the delivery-by-drone punch. An Amazon teaser video showed a drone delivering an order to a family’s house by landing near the door, releasing the package, and flying away, but it’ll be quite a while before that scenario is ever realised. UPS’s advantage is that its hypothetical drones don’t have to go to your house to make delivery easier.
Law professor Ryan Calo specialises in drones and robotics, and he told The Verge that “I think from both a tech and a policy perspective, delivering to consumers in residential areas is going to be tough thing to accomplish any time soon. But a company like UPS could use drones to bring packages quickly and cheaply from a major airport or city to pick-up centres in more remote locations, speeding up delivery for a lot of customers.”
UPS, as a nation-wide delivery service, has far more hubs in its network than Amazon, so it’s more realistic that we’ll first see delivery drones shuttling packages from one UPS location to another, where delivery can be in a controlled area (absent of playing children, for instance). Then packages would go on the trucks before they ultimately arrive at your door the familiar way: placed there by someone clad in brown.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.