Is drone delivery practical?
This is the future of e commerce. Through the use of drones, customers will be able to get their orders very very quickly. Some cities across the world have already gotten a taste of what commercial drone deliveries will look like wing which is operated by googles. Parent company alphabet has completed over 100 000 drone deliveries in logan, australia. Its pilot program has been a massive success: delivering everything from coffee, food, medicine and supplies, but down in canberra things, dont look so promising local authorities found territorial ravens, swooping down and attacking drones, forcing the home delivery service to temporarily shut down in the suburb. So when does drone delivery make sense? First of all lets talk about the packages drones can actually deliver. Today, most commercial drones can carry up to six pounds. This place is a hard limit on the volume and type of packages that can be delivered using a drone. For instance, most of wings deliveries during its test run have been food and medicine. It might be some time before you can get a new tv delivered to your doorstep in just 30 minutes. If drones are this limited in the kinds of packages they can deliver, surely they can perform deliveries across further distances than traditional shipping methods right? Well, not exactly. Typically, drones are able to fly 10 miles or more, with long range drones operating up to 7.5 miles away from their controller. This figure may be fine for the typical kinds of applications drones see today, but it is incredibly limiting for deliveries.
Any businesses, hoping to adopt a drone based delivery model would find themselves limited to an area spanning roughly five miles. While this is fine for restaurants, pharmacies may find this new mode of delivery, not that helpful outside of the suburbs. Highly urbanized areas are also less than ideal. Drones require open areas without overhanging trees, power lines or other obstacles to land and take off safely, such as yards or driveways in big cities. They can be very hard to come by. With these current limitations, the most likely widespread adoption for drones could be in the last mile delivery or the last stage of shipping from a warehouse to the customers home. This is still good news. By combining traditional modes of shipping with drones, shipping costs can be greatly reduced from six dollars for typical ground delivery services down to just 0.05 cents per mile. Perhaps in the future well see, drones fly further distances and be powered by ai, eliminating the issue of range entirely. This may be sooner than we think too. Ai powered drones have been in development over the past few years, but is it even safe to entrust your packages to a drone in a survey by clutch? ‘ percent of respondents were concerned about the security of drone delivery services. Twenty percent were concerned about potential damage to their packages and nineteen percent were concerned about their packages being stolen by hackers. These concerns may not be too far fetched either.
In contrast to wings success in test markets, amazon, a company with infinitely more funding and resources, has seen progress for its own drone delivery service stagnating. Despite having clearance for extensive testing in the uk, since 2016, amazon air has yet to roll out a single drone. Aside from cases of gross mismanagement, the program has faced many difficulties in training its drones, even with the help of machine learning after years of research and development, amazon still has not trained its drones to do basic tasks such as distinguishing a lawn from a swimming pool Or a dog from a person, this makes it close to impossible for amazons drones to carry out their deliveries without direct human control, as it had originally planned. In spite of these hurdles, the outlook is looking good for drone deliverys place in society. Maybe it wont turn ecommerce transactions into near instant exchanges anytime soon, but it could offer novel ways to tackle novel problems. In august 2021, ups began an initiative to remotely deliver covid19 vaccines in salem north carolina from atrium healths main facility to its subsidized medical facilities. In an era where contact free solutions are incredibly crucial, its only fitting that drones are being used to transport vaccines. China has also taken initiative in adopting the use of drones to deliver emergency medical supplies to areas with poor road conditions, theres also another benefit looming over the horizon. In a world where drones deliver most of the goods, we purchase online a steep decrease in carbon emissions in our cities.
The question then isnt.