We are living in a truly digital world, and with a few taps of our smartphones, we’re able to purchase whatever we want - from high-end fashion to our weekly takeaway dinner. In the not too distant future, this eCommerce world is predicted to be worth $4.5 trillion – but will we be seeing our goods sent to us by a delivery drone?
Of course, drone delivery is not a new concept, with global retail giant Amazon unveiling an ambitious Prime Air delivery plan last year. When fully operational, the service will utilise unmanned aerial vehicles to carry packages under two kilograms to eligible customers within thirty minutes of them ordering.
Whilst the use of unmanned aerial vehicles is on the rise, with hobbyists using drones such as the popular DJI Mavic Mini for pleasure, could unmanned aerial vehicles really be used for commercial deliveries in the future?
How will drone delivery work?
A delivery drone will not look too dissimilar than those currently being used for pleasure, with them using around 4-8 propellers and with a rechargeable battery. The biggest difference, however, will be their requirement to be able to carry containers and how they will be controlled.
Using unmanned aerial vehicles as an alternative to the traditional delivery methods will help to significantly speed up the delivery process and reduce operational costs, with almost 50% of a shipment’s cost currently occurring in what is known as the ‘last-mile delivery’. Not only that, but drones are a more sustainable and eco-friendly delivery method too.
However, when battery charges and travelling speeds are taken into account, these devices will have a delivery area of around 20 miles, which means that a business will require multiple departure points for a delivery drone system to be truly effective.
The future of drone delivery is not just dependent on where these devices take off from; it also depends on overcoming several hurdles when these drones are in the air. Alongside the practical laws of physics needed to meet the varying weight of the packages being delivered, the drones will also need to be able to fly independently around vast areas; facing countless obstacles such as animals, trees, pedestrians, and, as the delivery option grows, other drones. With many drones such as the Mavic 2 Pro equipped with obstacle avoidance, it is anticipated that similar advanced technology will be utilised in the future drone deliveries.
There is also a significant security threat, with companies needing to focus on preventing the devices from being hijacked by criminals. The biggest hurdle in the future of delivery drones is the transfer of the packages from the unmanned aerial vehicle to the customer. Although a drone can leave a package in a set place, what happens if you are not in? Or your parcel is damaged by the weather? Equally, there are still a number of safety regulations and legislations that will need to be overcome before we start seeing drones regularly flying through the sky. There are ongoing research and development with involvement of aviation authorities around the world to bring drone delivery to reality. As one of the leading courier service, UPS recently announced they have received the necessary certification from Federal Aviation Administration to use drone delivery service for medical packages.
There can be no denying that the future of logistics will involve the use of delivery drones. How cool will it be for your future drone purchase to be delivered by a drone? It is not just Amazon who has been trialling the use of drones. Some of the world’s biggest companies have also taken to the sky with the likes of FedEx, DHL and Domino’s all experimenting with unmanned aerial vehicles.
Whilst it might still be a little while before delivery drones become commonplace, drones are already planning a significant role in commercial industries, even giving flyers the chance to earn some extra money from there device. You could have a go at delivering your own small package with our drone delivery system for DJI Mavic 2.
If you are looking to discover the world of drones, for leisure or commercial activities, here at Dronescend we have a wide range of drones for sale from leading manufacturers, including DJI and ZLRC, so head over to our products page to find out more!