Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet (think Google), is pioneering a new delivery model. Drones pick up packages and deliver them via a network of landing pads and charging stations. They can handle multiple deliveries point-to-point without returning to the base. It’s because the standardized landing and charging stations are also near to the start point of their next run.
The CEO indicates that the model is a lot more like a computer message network than a last-mile logistics network. The software they’ve written matches the delivery demand with the available drones. Any nearby drone can pick up and make the delivery, then scout via software for another nearby pickup.
It’s another ingenious solution to the problems of thin demand. If there’s not enough, drones will be unoccupied. Pooling demand for package rides will make the system work better.
Another advantage of drones for delivery is their zero-emission properties. Drones are electric-powered, and emit lots less than local delivery trucks. They are also lots cheaper. There are limits on the size of packages they can carry, but if you look at typical deliveries to an apartment complex, for instance, you see that most packages are small.
Perhaps drone delivery is the future of last-mile package service.
Jack Daleo·Thursday, March 09, 2023Wing to launch unique new drone delivery model – FreightWaves