Drone II : The drone delivery market map

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As part of DRONELIFE’s participation in the FAA’s Drone Safety Awareness Week, DRONELIFE will feature stories according to the themes outlined. Today, we focus on drone delivery.

As high-profile drone delivery companies like Wing, UPS Flight Forward, and Zipline have made headline after headline this year, the hype around drone deliveries has become bigger than ever. But is it really all hype, or are we on the brink of major change in the way that goods are transported? Over the past two months DRONEII has conducted thorough research into the drone delivery market to bring you the latest market updates and answer all your burning questions. Here’s just a small snippet of the content that we’ve compiled into our latest Drone Delivery Report.

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Here’s what the Uber Eats delivery drone looks like

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Uber has unveiled more details about its plans for Eats delivery via drones. If all goes according to Uber’s plan, it will start flying its first drone model before the end of the year.

Uber’s design, which it unveiled at the Forbes 30 under 30 Summit today, is made to carry up to one meal for two people. Featuring rotating wings with six rotors, the vehicle can vertically take-off and land, and travel a maximum of eight minutes, including loading and unloading. The total flight range is 18 miles, with a round-trip delivery range of 12 miles.

As Uber previously said, the plan is not to use the drones for full delivery, but rather a portion of it. Once a customer orders food, the restaurant will prepare the meal and then load it onto a drone. That drone will then take off, fly and land at a pre-determined drop-off location.

Behind the scenes, Uber’s Elevate Cloud Systems will track and guide the drone, as well as notify an Eats delivery driver when and where to pick up their food. Down the road, Uber envisions landing the drones on top of parked Uber vehicles located near the delivery locations. From there, the Eats delivery driver will complete the last mile to hand-deliver the food to the customer.

Beginning next summer, Uber wants to use this drone for meal deliveries in San Diego. That would come after Uber first tests deliveries in partnership with drone operators and manufacturers.

Via Techcrunch.com

 

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Alphabet’s Wing begins making first commercial drone deliveries in the US

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Alphabet -owned drone delivery spin-out Wing is starting to service U.S. customers, after becoming the first drone delivery company to get the federal go-ahead to do so earlier this year. Wing is working with FedEx Express and Walgreens on this pilot, and their first customers are Michael and Kelly Collver, who will get a “cough and cold pack,” which includes Tylenol, cough drops, facial tissues, Emergen-C and bottled water (do people who have colds need bottled water?).

The Collvers are receiving their package in Christianburg, Va., which is where Wing and Walgreens will run this inaugural pilot of the drone delivery service. Walgreens gets a noteworthy credit in the bargain, becoming the first U.S. retailer to do a store-to-customer doorstep delivery via drone, while FedEx will be the first logistics provider to deliver an e-commerce drone delivery with a separate shipment.

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Bell’s new, self-flying cargo drone hauls a heavy load

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The all-electric APT 70 can tote up to 70 pounds, cruise at 75 mph, and cover 35 miles with a fully charged battery.

Bell aims to begin beyond-visual-line-of sight tests for the APT 70 next year, on the road to starting commercial service in the early 2020s.

They say things are bigger in Texas, and it seems that goes for drones as well as pickup trucks and cowboy hats. At least, if Fort Worth-based Bell’s new, autonomous cargo carrier is any indicator.

The four-motor, vertical-lift electric UAV is one of the largest commercial cargo drone projects to reach the skies. It stands nearly 6 feet tall and 9 feet wide on the ground (it rests on its tail before transitioning to horizontal flight after liftoff). It weighs 300 pounds and can carry an additional 70 pounds of cargo, slung in an aerodynamic pod between its two wings. That all-important stat gives it the name APT 70, the letters standing for “autonomous pod transport.” It first started flying in December via remote control, and in the past three weeks began fully autonomous flight, Bell announced this week.

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Watch Amazon’s all-new delivery drone zipping through the sky

Amazon has taken the wraps off the latest iteration of its Prime Air delivery drone that it says could be delivering online orders to customers’ doors “in the coming months.”

Considering the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) cautious approach to commercial drone deliveries, it’s a bold claim, but more on that later.

First, the drone. Amazon unveiled its new-look flying machine at its re:MARS Conference (Machine learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space) event in Las Vegas on Wednesday, June 5.

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Amazon patents aerial fulfillment centers for improved drone delivery

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Amazon’s drone-centric skyscrapers intended to replace traditional warehouses are old news. The tech giant just patented floating warehouses.

Last June, we reported on Amazon’s patent application for fulfillment center towers: skyscrapers that would replace the traditional warehouse model in favor of modern, drone-friendly versions that could serve as both charging hubs and convenient pitstops for delivery drones to pick up and drop off packages efficiently. According to a 2016 patent which the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted the tech giant today, Amazon realized that making the fulfillment centers airborne, themselves, would serve as one last additional step toward maximizing the idea completely.

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