Walgreens, Google affiliate to test drone deliveries
Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put drugstore products on customer doorsteps minutes after being ordered. Snacks like Goldfish Crackers or gummi bears as well as aspirin for sick kids will be delivered starting next month in Christiansburg, Virginia, by a 10-pound drone flying as fast as 70 miles per hour, the companies said Thursday. Customers will be able to order from a list of more than 100 items that includes consumer goods and cough and cold remedies but not prescriptions.The drone will be run by Wing Aviation LLC, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc.
Alphabet's Wing has started making. During a pilot program in Christiansburg, Virginia, drones will drop off packages from FedEx, Walgreens and local retailer Sugar Magnolia, which include over-the-counter medication, snacks and gifts. Alphabet it's the first commercial drone delivery service to homes in the country.
The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Wing an expanded. It has permission to "allow multiple pilots to oversee multiple unmanned aircraft making commercial deliveries simultaneously to the general public." UPS also , but it will stick to hospitals and medical campuses for now.
Alphabet’s Wing Plans Drone Drug-Store Deliveries Within a Month
One of the nation’s largest drug store chains and a shipping service giant are joining forces, with Alphabet Inc.’s Wing to begin a first-of-its-kind drone delivery service in October. Walgreens, FedEx Corp. and Wing, an offshoot of Google that was the first U.S. drone operator to receive partial certification as an airline, will begin the exploratory deliveries in the small town of Christiansburg, Virginia, the companies said in an announcement Thursday.The companies aim to go beyond the small-scale delivery demonstrations that have occurred so far in the U.S.
Folks in Christiansburg can order goods from Walgreens or Sugar Magnolia through the Wing app, and a drone will drop off their order to a pre-determined location in their yard or driveway. They can also opt in to have FedEx Express deliveries made by drone. The trial followsin Australia and Finland.
Amazon has filed a patent for
flying warehouses The e-commerce giant has quietly patented a zeppelin solution for its drones to deliver more easily.
The sky is not a limit for Amazon. The company, which recently made one of its first deliveries by drone in the UK, has filed a patent for a system of flying warehouses, noted on December 28 the journalist CB Insight Zoe Leavitt. The paper suggests using airships to store goods at an altitude of 13,000 meters, and move them according to supply and demand. If an event is planned in a stadium, the airships could for example be used for advertising purposes and get closer to the Earth, says the text, to allow drones delivery faster and less energy. Flying shuttles between zeppelin and drones are also planned to cover a wider area.
Amazon did not want to respond to media requests for the proven development of such a project. Such an idea was born in December 2014 on the side of engineers of Amazon, but the filing of patent was validated only in April 2016. It was until then unnoticed but discreetly secured an idea of Amazon, launched in the challenge of air delivery with the Prime Air project.Jeff Bezos obsession since 2013
For Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, it will one day be "just as normal to see Prime Air aircraft as postal trucks on the road". The contractor had revealed its drone delivery project on television in January 2013. In advance of its time, such an ambition had not failed to raise some questions about its technical feasibility. Drones can not carry heavy packets over long distances. Their low autonomy forces them to be located within 30 minutes by stealing a warehouse.
In 2014, however, Amazon began recruiting its first drone pilots and aeronautical engineers to work on the development of the service. Several patents were filed at the same time by Amazon's research and development teams, particularly to overcome the obstacles of automation of delivery. A patent validated last July suggests creating product docking stations on objects at the height of cities, such as antennas, streetlights, or even creating hatches on roofs of buildings, connected to consumers via tubes or elevators.
But the main obstacle of such a project remains legal. Amazon was able to test its drones from March 2015 only in the United States. Currently, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) authorizes the flight of a drone weighing less than 25 kilos in certain areas that do not fall under air control, provided in particular that his operator keeps his eye contact. A flight authorization must be filed for the other zones to prevent the risk of collision with other aircraft, which thwarts Amazon's projects of large-scale delivery.A nascent alternative
Amazon has ideas for bending regulation. In early December, the company announced that it had made its first delivery via a drone in the Cambridge area (United Kingdom), near one of its warehouses. Amazon had announced a few months earlier its ambition to develop a program of deliveries by drones in collaboration with the British government, much less looking at the regulation of delivery drones. These initiatives remain for the moment in the test phase or are limited to small geographical areas. Promotional videos, however, help raise awareness of this alternative delivery method.
Delivery is one of the most important cost items for e-commerce companies, all of whom are looking for alternative ways to deliver parcels. Wal Mart, the US retail giant, also plans to deliver some of its products by drones. Alphabet, Google's parent company, announced in August a test program in collaboration with the FAA as part of a project called "Wing".
In Europe, some initiatives are emerging in the delivery of mail services. DHL, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, delivered a drug delivery to an island in northern Germany in August 2014. In France, La Poste has also announced that it has passed a drone package delivery test via its subsidiary Geopost.
CVS starts delivering prescriptions to homes via UPS drones .
It didn't take long for UPS and CVS to start delivering prescriptions by drone. The two have confirmed that they completed their first paid home deliveries of prescriptions, hauling medicine to two homes (one of which was a retirement community) in Cary, North Carolina on November 1st. The drones flew autonomously and lowered the packages to the ground with a cable and winch, although there was a human operator ready to take control. This isn'tThis isn't the first paid delivery of any kind from UPS. The company has a deal to shuttle medical samples between WakeMed facilities in Raleigh. That's a commercial arrangement over areas that are under a company's control.