Drone Delivery Model from UPS

Drone delivery is on the horizon and could take a bit off the edge of the congestion cliff that will come with increased AV use and increased E-commerce.  UPS just tested a delivery model where a drone, attached to the top of a truck, can deploy to deliver a package while the driver continues on to do their own delivery at another site.

Some large caveats exist with the ability to use this in urban areas (as opposed to the rural example they describe).  That said, this is one step closer to the package delivery model where trucks become mini-distribution hubs and a fleet of drones go to and from a parked vehicle.  Obvious implications for trip generation, for potential design changes to buildings (say hello to your new rooftop mailbox!), and for distribution of warehouses in cities.

Graphic of how this would all work is below.

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One comment

  1. Martello

    As a person who loves quiet, and who was horrified recently after hiking to the top of Spencer’s Butte only to be assaulted by the noise of someone flying a drone up there, is anyone doing a study on the ramification(s) of noise from drones? Noise pollution is real and damaging, not just to humans but to wildlife. The idea of drone motors filling the space above our heads in our neighborhoods — which are already under aural siege from heat pumps and hot tubs and leaf blowers — doesn’t compel me to look forward to speedier deliveries.

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