Delivery Drones: The Future of Contactless Delivery

Asia Blockchain Review
June 1, 2020

The future of retail delivery is in the sky. Delivery drones provide a faster, safer, and more eco-friendly option for good transportation for the last mile of delivery. The rise of online payment methods, such as Blockchain, and retail ordering through the click of a button continues to revolutionize the way people shop. Companies across the globe are racing for drone delivery liftoff and with the COVID-19 threat gripping the planet, it’s clear that future technology such as delivery drones is pivotal in the fight against viral spread. Keep reading to learn more about how delivery drones work and how they are making contact-less delivery possible. 

How delivery drones work 

The world’s first drone delivery happened in 2016 when Domino’s sent two pizzas to a customer in New Zealand. Since then, countries have been working with companies to ease regulations around aerial delivery objects. Amazon, Walmart, Wing, and UPS are four companies that are investing big in drone delivery technology today. Delivery drones can carry packages up to 55 pounds from a delivery truck or warehouse to a delivery location, such as a residential address. Many companies are currently investing in last-mile drone delivery, which means the drone would only carry the package for a mile. For most deliveries, that means a delivery driver would attach the package to the drone as they approached the delivery destination, and then the drone is piloted to the delivery location to drop off the parcel. China has been heavily investing in drone delivery since 2017, with 7 different types of delivery drones in test pilot or operation today. The U.S. has moved to ease regulations against drone delivery, opening the door for retailers to take drone deliveries to the skies.

The pros and cons of delivery drones

Delivery drones have lots of benefits: they provide a safer transportation method that is more eco-friendly than delivery trucks, and they can also greatly enhance the speed of delivery. The unmanned vehicles aren’t without their cons, though: noise pollution and privacy risks are two big consumer concerns around the devices. A recent survey by The Zebra found that 83% of respondents don’t want delivery drones collecting data in their neighborhoods to be used for marketing purposes. A second survey question revealed that 88% of the respondents don’t want delivery drones recording in their neighborhoods at all. While some companies that are developing delivery drone technology vow against recording and surveillance, patents filed by Amazon award them permission to do just that. Further, while companies hope to make delivery drones a cheaper delivery option in the future, there are currently high costs to drone lift-off. The customer will likely foot the bill of these increased delivery costs until mass use makes it a more affordable option.

Delivery drones and contactless delivery

With social distancing measures and shelter in place orders in place for the foreseeable future due to COVID-19, contactless delivery is becoming an essential part of many company’s business models. Delivery drones allow for contactless delivery as an unmanned aerial vehicle completes the last mile (or more) of delivery, eliminating the need for a delivery driver to ever exit their vehicle or come into contact with a purchaser. 

Source: Siege Media and InsurTech Company The Zebra

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