A Drone:

A delivery drone is an autonomous vehicle, often an unmanned aerial vehicle used to transport packages, food or other goods. Drones have been in the delivery business since they were invented, delivering data, imagery, and, more recently, ordnance.

Drones for delivering parcels and all types of goods are receiving massive investment from some really big players all over the globe. These flying bots generally have 4 to 8 propellers and rechargeable Li-Po batteries to generate thrust. The delivery drones are autonomous or remotely controlled through a ground-controlled station. Drone operators can monitor multiple flying bots at once keeping track of every package delivered.

 

Drones in Logistics:

Traditionally, road transport has been the backbone of the logistics industry. But as urban settlements are getting more congested, it is already hard to reach remote areas with no road infrastructure, the drawbacks of traditional methods are becoming more apparent. The delivery industry is beginning to use drones to solve these issues.

The drones have been in the delivery business for a long time now, pizza delivery to delivering crucial time-bound medical supplies. The method of controlling delivery drone differs from other drone applications. To be feasible for delivery, a drone cannot be human-controlled, due to the latency and cost of human labor which is one of the main benefits of drone delivery.

Amazon Prime AIR:

With their new drone delivery system, Amazon’s goal is to use drones for delivering packages to their customers in half an hour or less with. They claim that their drones are capable of traveling within a 10-mile radius, and carrying packages that are weighing up to 5 pounds. Even though this project is still in the developing stage, Amazon is hoping that they will start this form of delivery sometime in the near future.

Cutting down Delivery time:

The driving power behind delivery drones innovation is to cut down on the delivery time of packages which are to be delivered. Many companies are promising to deliver packages in 30 mins or less, but how and where the drones take-off is crucially important.

Few ways of drone delivery have been adopted, the first course is to deploy the drone from dispatch centers located around the city. The traveling speeds and built-in battery time could reduce the range of a drone to around 20-30 kilometers. This means multiple dispatch stations would be needed for a city-wide fleet.

The second method of delivery would be using the traditional delivery trucks that will operate as the dispatch center for all the drone delivery operations. Drones will work with the road-bound vehicle’s navigation system to deliver parcels to more rural areas.

Possible benefits:

  • Reduced road congestion – Companies are looking into drone technology to do delivery tasks. Lesser delivery trucks or vans on the road will drastically help in reducing the road conjunction.
  • Reduced environmental pollution – Delivery drones are known to be more convenient than delivery trucks and are also more efficient. Drones will drastically reduce carbon emission hence protecting the environment to some extent.
  • Reduced delivery time – Delivery drones carry packages to the desired setpoint without getting affected by road traffic conjunction and on a planned optimized route. Customers will get their delivery in less than 30 mins.
  • Reduced transportation cost – Drone shipping has several benefits for both businesses and customers. Delivery times are reduced from two to three days, down to a matter of hours, plus there is less chance of a package being damaged during transit and handling as drone flight is pretty smooth.

Drones are set to become the future of logistics with their reduced cost, higher convenience and delivery time less than 30 minutes. Online retailers like Amazon have already started to offer test deliveries in selected cities. Over the next few years, test runs and pilot programs will shape the future generation of drones. It is estimated that by 2020 we will see the beginning of complex drone delivery systems in action.

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