CVS (Consumer Value Stores) is using UPS (United Parcel Service) to deliver medicines to their customers. UPS has been pouring its resources into the business of drone delivery. They have been able to increase the delivery work and introduce a subsidy because of new partnerships. UPS has deployed new commercial drones to deliver prescribed medicine to the CVS customers at their doorstep. It makes it so much easier for people who are not able to travel to the pharmacy.
On Tuesday, both CVS and UPS announced that they completed their first home delivery of prescribed medications through the commercial drones. It was well under the US Federal Aviation Administration-approved program. The delivery was made to two homes, one of which was a retirement community in North Carolina on the 1st of November.
They used the Matternet M2 drone. Apparently, the drones lowered the medicines that were attached to a cable from the drone. The drone was made to hover 20 feet off the ground, and at any point, a human was present to take control of the drone in case it malfunctioned.
The other customer to which the medicine was delivered was physically challenged. They could not make it to the pharmacy, so the drone delivered the prescribed medicine at their doorstep. The length of the trips was not disclosed, but UPS did clarify that the drone was in the line of sight and ready to be controlled by a human if necessary.
According to news, A UPS spokesperson named Kyle Peterson stated that they are just exploring. This was not a business where they provide drone service. But the exploration work will include the delivery of certain retail products, which include shampoo and paper towels.
Though the two trips don’t seem like a big deal, it is still a big step toward a potential service that may be available in the future, where many people might receive their deliveries through drone service paving the way for business to increase their productivity by using the drones. The drones were loaded with the prescribed medicines by the pharmacists. After that, a UPS employee loaded the package on to the drone, which was then deployed for delivery.
This isn’t UPS’s first rodeo. They provide the drone delivery service to the WakeMed’s flagship hospital campus in Raleigh. Also, they send the laboratory products back and forth between the main laboratory center and other buildings. The success of this service will only prove helpful in the medical field as flights between hospitals will make it much easier to provide and have access to anti-venoms and other such facilities.
The Federal Aviation Administration has given permission to operate drones within the line of sight of an operator, just like how they delivered medicines for CVS. UPS is working to improve its drones and make them efficiently operable without being in the line of sight. This will reduce the amount of manpower required to be placed in every neighborhood while the drone is in air.
UPS was granted a part 135 standard certification giving the company more space to complete their drone deliveries without the need for the human line of sight by the Federal Aviation Administration. Apart from CVS, the UPS have extended their partnerships with hospitals. But the partnership with CVS also opens doors for the delivery of other retail product delivery using the drone.
The two deliveries don’t make it a booming business, but it is still a milestone that requires appreciation. The drone delivery service is not a new concept. In fact, the drones delivered burritos for tech giants like Google’s parent company Alphabet by delivering burritos in 2016. In 2017 Amazon air tested the delivery of sunscreen in the closed and controlled airspace of an airport. Amazon even tested drone deliveries for its UK customers.
All of this only points to one direction, we can look up to the future where you receive deliveries from drones. A time where you don’t have to wait for the courier to arrive or go to a pharmacy; products will be delivered to you in a short time.