Commercial drone delivery services come to the US

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A drone completed the first scheduled residential delivery on Friday 18 October, conducted by Wing Aviation in collaboration with FedEx Express.

The delivery to a home in Christiansburg, Virginia was part of the US Department of Transportation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program, and marks the first scheduled e-commerce delivery using a drone in the USA.

For the trial, Wing drones will transport select FedEx packages to qualifying homes in Christiansburg to demonstrate the benefits of drones for last-mile delivery service.

Don Colleran, president and CEO of FedEx Express says: “For our customers in Christiansburg, this collaboration will test the latest innovation in the last mile of a residential package delivery. We hope that this latest addition to our delivery options will enhance the last mile service for urgent same-day deliveries, customers in rural or semi-rural areas, and other exceptional delivery needs.”

Customers who live with designated delivery zones and opt-in to the Wing delivery service will be able to receive eligible packages via drone during the trial period, provided operating conditions are met.

Wing’s pilot programme also includes a collaboration with Walgreens, allowing participants to order health products through Wing’s delivery app.

FedEx is also participating in the US DoT’s Unmanned Aircraft System IPP in conjunction with the Memphis Shelby-County Airport Authority to conduct drone operations on airport property to generate data to help future policymaking.