UPS conducted its latest drone delivery test on Monday, but unlike others in the past this drone was launched from a refitted van with a retractable roof that doubles as a launch platform. The idea of refitting an UPS van as a drone launch platform is resourceful and awesome.
The test took place in a suburb of Tampa Bay, Florida. In the end, UPS wants drivers to launch drones to deliver a package and then drive to another location a few miles away, where the drone can rendezvous with the truck. UPS believes drones could have a viable use in rural deliveries where distances between drop-off locations makes it cost effective to operate a drone instead of driving.
While many hurdles still exist—battery technology and regulatory are two big ones that come to mind—this test could be an import step forward for viable drone delivery in rural areas.