UPS on Track to Use Delivery Drones This Year That Launch from Roof of Electric Trucks

By Matthew Wisner
Published February 21, 2017

The technology company Workhorse has unveiled a delivery drone that launches from the roof of electric trucks.  UPS has begun testing the drones in Florida.  Workhorse CEO Steve Burns discusses the benefits of the drones and when consumers might see those drones dropping off deliveries at their front doors.

According to Burns, Workhorse and UPS have focused the testing on rural areas.

“FAA likes rural because not many people to fly under, or over, and for UPS, that’s the most expensive delivery, it’s the furthest to go,” Burns told the FOX Business Network’s Stuart Varney.

As the delivery drones are tested and improved, Burns predicts that they will expand beyond rural areas.

“So we’ll go rural, then we’ll go suburban and then city.”

Burns then addressed safety concerns.

“What we’ve done is make sure it does not come out of the air, right.  And again, you have the UPS driver within eyeshot of it and that UPS driver, if they have to, they can recall it in one stroke of the screen, right.  So, it’s probably safer than any other means.”

Along with being greener, these drones can save delivery companies such as UPS money, Burns explained.

“We know it’s greener, no pollution.  We know it’s economical, it uses only three cents of electricity per mile, no driver time, it’s completely autonomous.”

When asked about the potential timetable for drone deliveries, Burns responded, “The technology is there, we had a great test yesterday with UPS out in the country in Tampa and the FAA is on board.”

When Varney pressed him on whether consumers could begin seeing drone deliveries this year, Burns said, “I think it’s fair to say it’ll be this year.”