USPS eyeing drones for mail, package delivery

The United States Postal Service is considering drones as a new way to deliver mail.

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This was disclosed in a request for information (RFI) from September, describing why it is examining this concept and how it might potentially work to help people and companies with their mail-related needs, according to Nextgov.

“The Postal Service recognizes that the ability of [unmanned aircraft systems] to supplement mail delivery and information collection can substantially benefit the country and further the development of other autonomous systems,” said Postal Service officials.

If the USPS mail-by-drones idea becomes a reality, it would be a pioneering plan of action. But, the agency is still reportedly very much in the research and analysis stages of looking at this concept. Nextgov revealed that the USPS has not yet hired any contractors for drone production and that it might engage multiple companies in an effort to "identify candidates for future solicitation".

The safety management of the Postal Service's drone idea would fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which recently signed off on rival UPS being allowed to run the inaugural drone airline service.

The RFI did note though that “the postal service is evaluating whether larger package sizes and weights may be needed to meet some objectives."

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