UPS testing out drones for future deliveries in rural areas

Posted at 8:22 AM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 10:31:21-05

It’s the latest company to experiment with drones for future residential deliveries. 

Drone integration could eventually save UPS not only time, but a whole lot of money. 

The package delivery company highlighted the test of the Workhorse Horsefly drone on its website. The company plans to one day use drones to help deliver packages in rural areas.

Drones, UPS says, are not meant to replace drivers, more to act as a helpful companion, visiting a house nearby while deliveries are ongoing.

UPS says that if drones saved drivers just one mile per day,  it could save the company $50 million yearly.

“Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time,” stated Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability, in a press release. 

The Workhorse Horsefly drone is an "octocopter" that works in collaboration with hybrid delivery trucks made by Ohio-based Workhorse Group.

It can reportedly hold up to 10 pounds and fly for 30 minutes, according to the company. 

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