For the past few years, we’ve all been hearing about the day when retailers will deliver our groceries and electronics via drones. Why load up a truck and drive through traffic when a drone can get there quicker and cheaper? That promise is inching its way to reality.
The U.S government has recently allowed testing for low-altitude drones, which will be experiments that may pave the way for long-distance deliveries and services. Global powerhouses like Wal-Mart, Amazon, and UPS are testing drones to see how they perform in real-life delivery scenarios. It seems like getting your new espresso machine or 4-pack of toothpaste delivered by a drone is a matter of when, not if.
But as is the case with much business innovation, we first have to overcome hurdles put in place by regulators. That means that large retailers and delivery companies need permission to use low-altitude airspace. When they get the go-ahead, get ready to see a lot more drones flying around your neighborhood. And that day may be coming quick. In recent tests, UPS drones were making test deliveries every 3 minutes for 55-acre flights.
These results are possible because drone technology is maturing so fast. That’s why in the U.S and other developed countries, the commercial drone industry is growing much quicker than even experts could’ve imagined. With hundreds of thousands of drones around the world, we’re not only about to witness a global battle between retailers – we’ll witness a race for drone dominance between countries.
On January 1st, 2021, China formalized the country’s drone delivery regulations. Just a few months later, Canada, South Korea, England and Japan conducted successful drone deliveries to otherwise remote areas. Here in the states, a company called Zipline has been permitted by the FAA (Federal Aviation Association) to deliver medical supplies and consumer goods within parts of North Carolina and Arkansas.
These new FAA rules allow companies to use drones for delivery, given that they occur under specific safety precautions. This is yet another step toward the overall goal of around-the-clock commercial drone delivery, at any distance possible. Delivery by automobile used to be a novelty. Now it’s commonplace, as drone delivery will be before we know it.