Delivery is one of the most well-known and future driven use cases when it comes to commercial drones. Using drones to deliver small packages, medical supplies, or emergency equipment is the perfect use case, taking delivery trucks off the road and improving delivery speeds.
The history of drone delivery
Delivery drones for civilians was first spoken about back in 2013 when Amazon announced it was planning to create its own network. Not long after DHL started a research project looking into medical drone delivery.
Since then, Google's Wing, FedEx, Alibaba, Flytrex, Flirtey, Rakuten, JD, Boeing, Wingcopter, Manna, Zipline, UPS, and Swoop Aero have all tried with some succeeding to create and manage a delivery drone network.
The most notable out of the list above include:
- Google Wing - drone delivery of small items, groceries, pharmaceuticals.
- Swoop Aero - drone delivery of medical supplies in Africa and Australia, with expansion in the near future.
- Wingcopter - drone delivery of medical supplies and samples in Africa, UK, Vanuatu.
- Zipline - drone delivery of medical supplies, vaccines, blood in Africa.
Drone delivery in Australia: use cases (air, land, water)
There are two major players in Australia when it comes to drone delivery. Google Wing and Swoop Aero. Google Wing has been delivering packages to locals in Logan, Brisbane for the last few years. The company has recently expanded into Canberra.
Swoop Aero recently partnered with TerryWhite Chemart to deliver medical supplies to remote Australia communities. Swoop Aero also has plans to expand its Australian operations, with the hopes for general deliveries.
The future of drone delivery
Companies that are already completing deliveries by drone have shown that there is a need and the technology works. Over the next few years deliveries will increase as regulations and safety around the drones improve. When it comes to packages, most sent across Australia can fit into a delivery drone.
The improved delivery speeds, lower emissions, and cost savings will eventually result in many companies turning to drones to ensure goods are delivered safely and on time.