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UPS begins testing drone deliveries in remote areas

Posted: September 26, 2016 by Today's Trucking Staff

ATLANTA, GA – UPS has begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations. 

Delivery testing began on Thursday when the companies staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass. to Children’s Island, which is about three miles off the Atlantic coast. In the mock scenario, the drone successfully carried an asthma inhaler to a child at a camp on the island, which is not reachable by automobile. 

The international delivery service is now working with with drone manufacturer CyPhy Works

“Our focus is on real-world applications that benefit our customers,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “We think drones offer a great solution to deliver to hard-to-reach locations in urgent situations where other modes of transportation are not readily available.” 

Last month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), issued new rules that expanded the uses of drones in commercial applications.

“Drone technology used in this way can save lives and deliver products and services to places that are difficult to reach by traditional transit infrastructures,” said Helen Greiner, CyPhy’s founder and chief technology officer 

The CyPhy drone used in Thursday’s test is the Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) system. The battery-powered drone flies itself, so very little user training is required. It is extremely durable, has night vision and features secure communications that cannot be intercepted or disrupted. 

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