As we continue to focus on COVID-19 in every community in our nation, UPS and CVS have teamed up to deliver prescription medicine via drones to residents and businesses in a wave of new technologies that are certain to become the “new normal” in our nation and the world.
Such an example is within the Villages retirement community in Florida. Using Matternet’s M2 drones, CVS and UPS will begin delivering prescriptions under the authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The drone deliveries will begin in early May, with the first flights being less than half a mile away from their end destination. The drone will actually deliver to a pickup location near the retirement community. A UPS ground vehicle will then complete the delivery to the resident’s door.
UPS has already been using limited drone delivery testing in North Carolina, said it is expanding its drone service to help people who may be quarantined due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Our new drone delivery service will help CVS provide safe and efficient deliveries of medicines to this large retirement community, enabling residents to receive medications without leaving their homes,” said Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, in a statement. “UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting COVID-19, and this is another way we can support our healthcare customers and individuals with innovative solutions.”
UPS and CVS aren’t the only ones utilizing technologies like drone flying, Google offshoot Wing launched a drone delivery service of its own last year in Virginia, which delivers over-the-counter medicines and other health-based items.
UPS received government approval to operate a “drone airline” last October. Since then, the logistics giant’s drone subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward, has conducted several thousand deliveries of prescriptions to retirement communities in North Carolina.
The expanded use of unmanned flying is in its still in testing phase , but with the COVD-19 pandemic so prevalent in our daily lives, the delivering of small, ultralight packages short distances as a reality is soon coming, as will businesses that will provide the many services on the horizon.