UPS has announced successfully testing a drone that launches from the top of a UPS package car, autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery.
UPS conducted the test on Monday in Lithia, Fla. with Workhorse Group, an Ohio-based battery-electric truck and drone developer. Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car used in the test.
“This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “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.”