In late 2019, Forbes published an article titled Why The Skies Aren’t Filled With Delivery Drones…Yet as a response to the question that’s since been on every consumer’s mind: Are drones being used for deliveries? At the time, Forbes pointed to slow and limited FAA approvals for drone delivery companies as a major reason for the lack of drones filling our skies with package deliveries—but that wasn’t the only obstacle the article outlined.
While the FAA has clearly expressed interest in the potential of drone delivery service, the more difficult challenge to clear is that of infrastructure. Say a distribution company decides it’s high time to introduce a drone delivery system—can you imagine the investment such an undertaking would involve? More than just the drones themselves and automation tools needed on the supply side to actually prepare packages for drone deliveries, what happens when the drone arrives at your door? Just as suppliers need to be prepared with the right tech to make drone shipping viable, consumers need to prepare their homes for receiving safe and secure drone deliveries—or the concept is a non-starter.
While the world isn’t 100% ready for drone delivery yet, it’s a lot closer than you might think. Let’s take a look at how the whole concept works, what drone delivery companies like DRONEDEK are doing to make drone delivery a reality, and when you can expect to start receiving packages from a high-tech fleet of robotic couriers.
How Does Drone Delivery Work?
While mass-market drone delivery hasn’t caught on just yet, drones have been cleared to make deliveries since 2016. That’s when the FAA first issued regulations concerning commercially operated drones. To date, drone deliveries have worked on a case-by-case basis, typically in situations where traditional delivery methods just don’t work. For example, medical supplies have been transported by drones when time is of the essence or the destination isn’t easily accessible by a traditional vehicle.
Today, the leading logistics companies are looking at drone delivery as a last-mile solution. According to Amazon, 86% of its packages are under 5 pounds—making them perfect for drone deliveries. Since drones are currently limited to a total of 55 pounds, including cargo, small purchase deliveries from warehouses or trucks seem perfect for this technology. UPS also has plans to utilize drones launched from aboard a traditional delivery truck. This would allow a driver to stop at a single convenient spot and send out drones to complete local deliveries, thereby improving delivery times and saving on fuel costs. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has launched a test program for their drone delivery service Project Wing. In the city of Christianburg, Virginia, Google drones already make food and product deliveries to the local market.
As these and other logistics companies expand their drone delivery systems, expect scenarios like these test program to become the norm. In cities where homes are located close to a warehouse, it might be reasonable to expect that qualifying deliveries might start arriving via drone. Otherwise, the system of driving the drones close to delivery zones and letting them finish the job is within reach, technologically speaking.
Preparing Consumers for Drone Delivery
As large distribution companies prepare their own technology to begin making drone delivery a regular part of their operations, it’s critical that the market also prepares consumers to receive those packages. As both sides of this equation rise up to meet each other, it won’t be long before drone delivery is a safe, accessible, and reliable means of package delivery.
DRONEDEK has been awarded the first patents for a revolution in drone reception and package security technology. It’s our mission to provide consumers with a safe, intelligent mailbox that can communicate with incoming delivery drones, securely store packages for collection later, and also replace standard mailboxes with secure delivery slots for normal mail deliveries. Our next-gen mailbox systems can be installed as free-standing mailboxes or affixed to your home’s porch, roof, window, or to the structure itself. DRONEDEK is on track to begin fulfilling orders and installing units in late 2021, just in time to meet the growing consumer demand for safe drone delivery systems.
So, back to the original question: Are drones delivering packages yet? The short answer is yes—and it will only continue to become more commonplace in the coming months and years. Visit DRONEDEK.com to stay at the forefront of consumer drone delivery technology. As we prepare to enter the market with our GPS-enabled smart drone delivery mailbox systems, we’ll continue informing you about new developments in this exciting arena. DRONEDEK will make sure you’re ready to receive your drone deliveries as soon as your trusted suppliers are ready to start sending them.