Drone delivery execs weigh in on industry’s future

Industry leaders look 5 years down the road

By Jack Daleo | Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Source: freightwaves.com

Drone delivery has done some pretty incredible things in 2021. Drones have delivered to bustling cities, some of the most remote locations on Earth and even your backyard; they’ve airdropped everything from chicken wings to blood transfusions; and they’ve grabbed the attention (and lightened the coffers) of massive companies like Alphabet and FedEx.

But drone delivery has yet to really take off. Despite drone delivery companies demonstrating technology that can enable automated takeoffs and landingsflights spanning hundreds of miles, and drones that pilot themselves, drone deliveries by and large have been on a selective basis. That has limited flights to companies with FAA approval and subjected them to certain restrictions, such as having to fly within the operator’s line of sight.

Yet the value proposition for drone delivery remains tantalizing –– early indications suggest that commercial drone deliveries will be far cheaper than car-based services, and they could also reduce the environmental impact of delivery.

So what’s ahead for drone delivery? Modern Shipper asked drone delivery CEOs, “What’s in store for the industry over the next five years?” so you can hear predictions straight from the folks taking delivery to the skies.

Yariv Bash, CEO and co-founder, Flytrex

Bash’s company Flytrex is focused on suburban deliveries and currently operates in North Carolina, where it delivers food and parcels directly to customers’ backyards.

“In five years, drone delivery will be a standard in on-demand delivery. The efficiency, speed, economic benefits and sustainability of drones will be embraced by retailers, making it a key go-to option for delivery at scale. While traditional couriers are only able to make around two deliveries per hour by car, a single drone operator can perform more than 10 deliveries per hour, allowing everyone everywhere to enjoy the convenience of swift and sustainable on-demand delivery.

“As on-demand services continue to gain momentum, the desire for instant gratification will only increase as more consumers get used to the ease and convenience of ultrafast delivery. Out of toothpaste? Missing an ingredient? Need just the right tool? Burn your dinner and kids are famished? Any item can be delivered to your front door (or backyard) within five minutes, anytime.

“As drones gain traction in the delivery space, traditional delivery methods — along with all of their disadvantages — will become less and less attractive, leading to less congestion on the roads, fewer accidents and less pollution (drones are 100% electric).”

Dan O’Toole, CEO and founder, DroneDek

O’Toole and DroneDek are the makers of “the mailbox of the future,” a new kind of receptacle that can receive deliveries from drones as well as traditional methods.

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