UPS wants to deliver your packages by drone. But a recent test shows they've still got a ways to go.
The company announced Tuesday it had successfully tested a drone that could launch from a UPS truck, deliver a package and return to the truck as it drove. UPS claims the drone technology will save money on costly rural deliveries. Drivers' routes are highly optimized to save time, and it's hard to make rural routes efficient. But drones could solve that problem, making deliveries while the driver keeps up his or her route.
WATCH | Here's a look at the drone in flight.
The drone, dubbed the "HorseFly" (made in collaboration with WorkHorse Group), docks on top of a UPS truck. The drone can fly for as far as 30 minutes bearing up to 10 pounds, so don't expect a drone to deliver your TV anytime soon.
It's wonderful to see this technology applied in such a practical way.
There are still some kinks to work out. Stephen Burns, WorkHorse founder and CEO, said there were issues with getting the HorseFly to dock on a truck.
TechCrunch reports this became problematic when interference caused the drone to land early. It was nearly crushed by a gate on top of the truck. Burns said he hadn't seen that glitch. Otherwise, the drone was able to carry out its test delivery.
WATCH | The Federal Aviation Administration's guidelines on drones passed last summer may make it tricky for businesses to deploy drones as part of the workforce.
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