Why We Need to Be Thinking About Building and Investing in Drone Infrastructure Today
ast mile delivery is a challenge for those in retail and logistics. There is a major carbon impact from emissions and rising business costs attached to the inefficiencies of van drivers navigating congested roads, making repeat trips when no-one is home to receive parcels the first time. This is why retailers and delivery companies are doing everything they can to improve the way they do logistics. They have spent a lot of time and money on small incremental improvements to the efficiency of their current delivery routes. To really move the dial, though, many are looking into drone technology for transformation toward more sustainable business and a better customer experience.
Drone technology has the potential to be a force multiplier, especially for home deliveries—something that UPS has been testing for quite some time. In the medical field, where time spent delivering blood, organs, and other critical supplies can literally mean life or death, drones have demonstrated how they can operate faster and more predictably than traditional delivery methods. But all of these efforts have been relatively small scale. The big question is when and how it will grow so we can realize these benefits as a society and for communities around the world in need of more connectivity.
When we talk about drone delivery becoming part of our daily lives and the challenges to getting there, the conversation often revolves around regulations and the drone technology itself. There is a common belief that when drones meet FAA requirements for safety and there is a tracking structure in place, regulations will open up and we will be able to really scale drone delivery, but as we’ve discussed before, there is more to it than that.