The drones are coming


I started this.
Staff member
The drones are coming - Fleet Owner

Unmanned aircraft can help with package deliveries, yard and depot surveillance, traffic management, and more. How are drones being used and tested today, and what does it mean for delivery drivers?

While testing remains in the early stages, this past summer the company received a patent for product-distribution warehouses that float in the sky and are carried and held aloft by blimps. It is part of Amazon's plan to move toward more drone deliveries from ground-based shipments.

The floating warehouses, or aerial fulfillment centers (AFCs), "may be positioned at an altitude above a metropolitan area and be designed to maintain an inventory of items that may be purchased by a user and delivered to the user by a UAV that is deployed from the AFC," the patent document said.

Elsewhere, UPS in early 2017 made a successful delivery by drone in partnership with Workhorse, an Ohio manufacturer of the unmanned aircraft as well as electric and hybrid electric vans and pickups.

Box Ox

Well-Known Member
Floating warehouses....Jesus.

And just because my idiot neighbors let their kids fly cheap drones over our heads doesn't mean they're in any way practical for commercial package delivery in the US.

"When it comes to on-demand delivery, you can't beat drones," said Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash, whose company has also been making successful deliveries in Iceland. We're not competing with the FedEx truck with 120-140 packages," he added. "We're competing more in the on-demand market. If you can get your iPhone in 20 minutes instead of an hour and a half, that's a huge change. It's also safer. Every [delivery] car and scooter I take off the road can save lives. Plus, it's a lot cleaner, since drones are 100% electric."

How much would a typical customer be willing to pay for that premium service? It wouldn't be cheap. And customers currently expect to get their iPhones shipped next or 2 day for free. Good luck weaning them off that model.

During UPS's testing, a drone delivers a package and returns to the electric Workhorse van. In the interim, the UPS driver makes a delivery along the route. The driver approves the drone's landing spot to ensure it will not hit a power line, tree, person, or animal.

Oh, great. Something else to blame the driver for if their air traffic controlling doesn't go according to plan.


nowhere special
How are you supposed to stock one of these floating warehouses with inventory? Flying feeders? The drivers are too heavy for that?