When They First Discussed Drone Deliveries, I Thought of This

It looks like UPS will working on drones that deploy from delivery trucks to speed up the process.

When people first started looking at drone deliveries, this sort of deployment immediately occurred to me.

It’s called Horsefly

‘s a way to deal with the limited range of battery range and line of sight, and potential safety issues decrease with the shorter deployment range:

Of the myriad possible uses for small unmanned aircraft, the one that has captured and held public attention is package delivery. This has more potential to bring drones into everyday life than any other near-term use.

But how near term? The vision of package-toting drones crisscrossing neighborhoods delivering online purchases to doorsteps, or shuttling between offices in cities carrying urgent mail, must first overcome technical, regulatory and acceptance hurdles.


Now package delivery giant UPS has demonstrated how a truck-launched UAV could help its drivers, particularly in rural areas where its distinctive brown “parcel cars” must travel miles between deliveries. By avoiding some of the challenges of urban and residential operations, the truck-based approach could make drone deliveries a reality sooner.

A Feb. 20 demo in Lithia, Florida, was conducted with Workhorse Group, a manufacturer of hybrid-electric delivery vans that is developing the HorseFly truck-launched UAV. The company, which is building a fleet of 325 electric trucks for UPS, began flight testing its delivery drone with the University of Cincinnati in 2014.

These sort of half steps make a lot more sense than the full up warehouse to drone delivery envisioned by Amazon, if just from a regulatory perspective.

Whirling death machines in the sky may not be quite as amenable to ignoring existing law and regulations as has been gypsy cab operations. (Uber)

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