UPS Launches Drone From Delivery Truck

by FliteTest | February 21, 2017 | (0) Posted in News

From the UPS Pressroom:

UPS is the latest company to showcase their UAV delivery capabilities. Drone delivered packages is perhaps the most discussed commercial application in the near future although we have been known to poke fun at the seemingly impractical nature of this application!

This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.


The drone used in Monday’s test was the Workhorse HorseFly™ UAV Delivery system. It is a high-efficiency, octocopter delivery drone that is fully integrated with Workhorse’s line of electric/hybrid delivery trucks. The drone docks on the roof of the delivery truck. A cage suspended beneath the drone, extends through a hatch into the truck. A UPS driver inside loads a package into the cage and presses a button on a touch screen, sending the drone on a preset autonomous route to an address. The battery-powered HorseFly drone recharges while it’s docked. It has a 30-minute flight time and can carry a package weighing up to 10 pounds.

For this test, Workhorse preset the route for the drone. But in the future, routes could be determined by UPS’s On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION), which is the company’s proprietary routing software.

“It’s wonderful to see this technology applied in such a practical way,” said Stephen Burns, Workhorse founder and CEO. “The drone is fully autonomous. It doesn’t require a pilot. So the delivery driver is free to make other deliveries while the drone is away.”

Video from: Tech Crunch 


Remember when we took our own stab at a "delivery attempt"? :)

 What do you think about drone deliveries? Are they silly publicity stunts... or inevitable tech application? 



Balu on February 22, 2017
That is an interesting concept. Especially for rural areas that have miles of driveway towards a single house. But then the drone looked a lot simpler than all I have at home ;).
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BigSexy on February 22, 2017
Everyone is thinking it, but I am going to say it. The first time I get a delivery from a company that uses a "drone", I'm catching it and making it my own! I bet they are EXPENSIVE!
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danield on February 22, 2017
There is noway my dog would not have fun with one of those. Or dog would get hurt and law suits.
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Ron DuBray on February 23, 2017
What is the point when it breaks the law for a pro drone operators. They need to be in or have a spotter in line of sight of the aircraft at all times??
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UPS Launches Drone From Delivery Truck