Drone Delivery – Your Takeout Is Taking to The Skies
According to recent news, people can now expect food to be delivered to the front door within 20 minutes of pressing a button on their smartphone using drone delivery services. Let’s get into what drone delivery is all about without further ado.
What are Drones?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), known as Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems, and commonly known as drones, are aircraft that do not have human pilots, crew, or passengers on board.
Impact Of Drone Deliveries
The rise of food ordering apps has led to a predictable trend– young consumers are ordering food more often than any previous generation. Restaurant owners have prioritized efficient and reliable delivery services to meet this growing demand.
Fortunately, manufacturers are producing more UAVs. The growing popularity of drones may offer an opportunity for business owners to stand out from the competition while providing last-mile delivery to their customers.
This is not, however, pure speculation. Big companies like Uber have been working on drone food transportation programs. While Uber’s delivery program using UAVs is still in its infancy, the move represents a larger shift. Smaller companies like pizza chain Pieology have also begun testing drone deliveries.
As Android and iOS mobile app development revolves around including the Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems capabilities, the technology will become more reliable. Restaurant owners need to catch these changes promptly to avoid being left behind in the future.
How Are The Federal Regulations Surrounding This Fast-growing Drone Food Delivery Market Evolving?
Transportation of line-of-sight UAVs is permitted in Part 107 if the UAV and its cargo weigh less than 55 pounds. The operator must be a remote pilot and always make sure the UAV does not fly beyond state boundaries.
The Federal Aviation Administration has certified some carriers as Part 119 airlines, allowing for more complex Part 135 operations. The FAA will use data from ongoing operations to further integrate its drone delivery operations into the National Airspace System.
In November 2020, the FAA announced airworthiness standards for certifying ten different drones as special class aircraft. This is an important step towards more complex drone operations beyond what is currently allowed in Part 107, including package delivery.
What Is The Process Of Drone Delivery Services?
People’s mixed opinions about drone delivery may be because they have never experienced such a thing before. The drone design method visualizes how these deliveries work.
The drone features all the bells and whistles of a typical aerial vehicle, including blades, motors, batteries, and technology that allows remote control of the machine.
However, the machine is equipped with a camera and a clamp, and a freight box to safely transport the goods from storage facility A to B.
Are Delivery Drones A Faster Option?
Many people have great expectations about how fast a package can be transported. However, how fast this vehicle can transport an item is too good to be true. For drone deliveries, the schedule can be significantly affected by:
The greater the distance between a warehouse and a client, the longer the delivery time.
Drones are legally limited to certain navigable airspace, where they are legally allowed to pass.
Precipitation can get inside a drone and ruin electrical components, making the machine inoperable. Although many drones can fly in strong winds, that depends on the drone’s specifications.
Drones can fly in the wind at two-thirds of their maximum speed as a rule of thumb. If the wind is stronger than two-thirds of the drone’s top speed, the drone may not take off efficiently and may lead to deterioration. Low temperatures also reduce the chemical activity of lipo batteries used in drones. This will accelerate the deterioration of the drone. In some cases, it’s 50 times faster. The drone can even shut down during flight and crash to the ground in extreme cold.
How Does The Drone Delivery System Keep Package Damage To A Minimum?
Companies are planning extensive flight testing before officially introducing UAVs to large groups to minimize damage during package delivery. For example, the Wing pilot program. Wing has begun operations in four locations, including Christiansburg, Virginia, Canberra, Logan City (both in Australia), and Helsinki (Finland). Amazon is testing operations with Prime Air.
These flight tests allow drone delivery companies to understand how drones react when carrying different types of luggage or how they react when taking flight from the ground in different weather conditions.
Advantages of Delivery By Drone
Drone delivery is mainly used to deliver goods and items. These are programmed devices that deliver items from headquarters to a specific area. The most visible delivery drone is a helicopter device from a retail store. Large delivery drones are operated by shipping companies that handle bulk goods to be transported.
Improved Time Management
When UAVs fulfill orders, they allow their human colleagues to focus on other important tasks. This is because the delivery of this device is faster with an accurate tracking program. The drones have a lower error rate when pinpointing the target area.
Deliveries with this vehicle save workers from energy consumption when delivering packages. Mechanical devices increase the activity of workers to complete more tasks. The risk of fatigue is at minimal levels because there are devices that can replace human activity through one simple and quick flight.
Drone Delivery adds additional personnel to each institution that provides the service. Carry items and transport them elsewhere via a remote control system. Workers have more time at work for other important delivery tasks.
There’s assurance of human safety when these flying robots physically deliver goods to consumers since it prevents accidents. Human delivery personnel are often susceptible to dangerous environment exposures. When using a drone, the delivery person does not have to endanger his life in an accident.
Delivery drones are more efficient at delivering products to the right recipients. Delivering materials to the right recipients is more accurate than humans. You can significantly reduce the incidents of wrong recipients.
Allow Efficient Social Distancing
During the pandemic, CVS pharmacy and UPS used drone services to deliver medical supplies and other prescription drugs to the elderly community in Florida. Medical deliveries are delicate, and when you deliver medicines this way, it helps the community maintain social distance measures within the Covid 19 pandemic.
Disadvantages Of Using Drones For Deliveries
Here are some reasons why you should deliver packages using other forms of logistics:
Drones are still expensive as they are just on the market. Few large logistics companies are using drones to improve their logistics operations. Average drone costs per unit range from $ 50 for small drones to $ 500 for large UAVs.
Drones can easily drain the battery within minutes. Delivery drones easily drain the battery when delivering a product to its destination. If delivery fails, it can cause complaints from consumers in the market.
Requires Technical Knowledge
Operating a delivery drone is a difficult task. Drone operators should read the equipment manual and be familiar with the procedure. Successful operation of a drone takes time and effort.
Disabled Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems
There is a drone that shows a failed system months after purchasing the device. This is due to a manufacturing defect that the maintenance personnel at work did not recognize. If the drone fails during flight, interruption of delivery service may occur.
Delivery drones use cameras to deliver packages to the target market or location. Cameras always record real places, property, and people while receiving objects without their consent. Corrupted drone users can misuse consumer recorded information.
Drones Can Be Easily Stolen
This unmanned vehicle is independently suspended in the air. Anyone can steal the drone while the power is off. When stolen, local businesses lose the authority to control their property.
Which Company Is Prepared For The Drone Delivery Service?
Many drone manufacturers are looking at the future of drone delivery from both efficiency and events. However, most UAV delivery tests can be withdrawn to remote areas of large urban environments and airports for serious federal administrative management regulations. Despite the existing blockers, the following major companies are starting to invest resources to fulfill orders using machines at customers’ doorsteps.
- Amazon Prime Air
- Google (Alphabet)
Most local businesses might take several years before considering UAVs. You must be an e-commerce giant to consider investing in the future.
These companies have to struggle in some of the applicable US federal districts if you want to develop a Drone Delivery Program for Large Scale e-commerce.
Wing’s drones are quite different from other UAVs, including Amazon’s Prime Air. You can use the UAV as both a fixed-wing aircraft and a hovering copter. They are mostly for small package deliveries.
Unlike Prime Air, the aircraft hovers and does not even have to land to unload goods. The winged plane will fly to that location, descend to an altitude of 23 feet (7 meters), unload the luggage with a tether, and automatically drop it to the ground slowly.
Is Drone Delivery Expensive?
Autonomous UAVs exist on more than three continents, including the Middle East continents. These services are cheaper than delivery services that require cars or trucks.
However, drone delivery may not be cheap where there are no existing resources and infrastructure to operate these drone delivery systems. For now, the cost of shipping with UAVs is high for most items, including small packages.
UAVs will be an investment rather than savings for both shipping companies and consumers, at least for now, till the benefits become prominent. But as companies expand their drone delivery programs and improve their drone technology to achieve fully autonomous solutions, costs can go down, and profits multiply.
Drone delivery services can be faster, but these companies need to scale up their drone delivery program before it incurs significant time and cost penalties to realize savings in shipping costs.
Ways To Prevent Theft During Drone Delivery
Stealing delivery packages is a problem that customers face, both regular delivery and drone delivery. The solution for drone delivery theft is as follows:
Organizing delivery times so that customers can meet the drone instead of delivery packages drop-offs in their absence.
Allowing package deliveries to an individual’s current GPS position rather than just their home or business address.
About four years back, Amazon filed a patent for anti-hacking drone technology. An idea that is for implementation in its next drone delivery service. If a drone suddenly stops receiving a specific signal, the technology allows it to pause its delivery and search for a secure landing spot.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a serious impact on the food service industry. Sales have dropped dramatically in many restaurants, but demand for takeaway and delivery has also increased significantly during the crisis. A huge number of retailers plan to deliver with UAVs in 2022.
Drone shipments are in a unique position to meet this growing demand. These UAVs are much faster than all logistics companies -there’s no driver (or pilot in this case), so you don’t have to zigzag the streets of the city, wait for traffic or red lights, and the driver is right. No need to take a break-everything is on fully automation.
UAVs are also a more cost-effective solution because drone operators can monitor multiple drones flying at the same time. This means lower delivery costs for companies using such flight services. With growing concerns about climate change, such deliveries are far more environmentally friendly than traditional courier services.
In short, drone delivery provides an alternative to win-win on-demand delivery for fast-service restaurants that are faster, cheaper, and more sustainable than traditional delivery services.
Drone freight transportation will surely become a new force to support economic and social growth as science and technology advance in the coming years. Let’s see where the commercial drone industry goes from here.