UPS Drone Makes First Delivery to CVS Customers

UPS drone delivers medicine from CVS straight to customers' homes

It didn't take long for UPS and CVS to start delivering prescriptions by drone.

The direct-to-consumer deliveries join UPSFF's existing work with Matternet in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the duo has conducted more than 1,500 deliveries using drones for the WakeMed Hospital.

UPS Flight Forward, a subsidiary of UPS, has announced the successful completion revenue-generating drone deliveries, which transported prescribed medicines from a pharmacy directly to two customers' homes.

This isn't the first paid delivery of any kind from UPS.

The FAA has generally allowed drone flights that are within the line of sight of an operator, as was the case with these recent CVS flights, though UPS and its competitors are working toward developing drones that can be used without that requirement so they can fly around without needing an army of employees blanketing every neighborhood.

"We now have an opportunity to offer different drone delivery solutions, tailored to meet customer needs for speed and convenience".

UPS said the revenue-generating deliveries were conducted with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval and mark a significant step in the partnership between UPS and CVS.

The shipments, roughly the size of small shoeboxes, have been lowered from drones floating at an altitude of about 20 feet.

For the first time on November 1, a UPS-branded quadcopter flew to customers' homes from a CVS store in Cary, North Carolina. The delivery, and a subsequent delivery, took place on November 1. This was followed by another delivery of a medical prescription to a second customer in a nearby retirement community. "We're delighted to build new services that will shatter preconceived notions of how, when and where goods can be delivered".

UPS's plans for expansion will focus on providing similar services at hospitals, universities, and corporate campuses across the country, promising the ability to provide more than 20 flights per day, per drone.

While private industry, particularly e-commerce companies like Amazon, have been eager to deploy drone technology for last-mile delivery, rules and regulations have kept the pace of commercial adoption and usage to a minimum.

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