UPS has been making its way into the drone industry for years. A key example of this is a partnership between Matternet and UPS Flight Forward, the shipping company’s commercial drone airline, to make drone deliveries to hospitals. Matternet began in 2019 by making deliveries to Wake Medical Center in North Carolina, and recently the companies partnered to do medical drone deliveries to facilities in a San Diego health system.
UPS recently announced a new partnership. It has selected Wingcopter as the creator of its “next generation of package delivery drones for a variety of use cases in the United States and internationally,” according to a recent news release.
Wingcopter’s drones are able to perform vertical takeoffs and landings in tight spaces like a helicopter, and then do high-speed flight like an airplane.
However, Matternet has earned regulatory certification for its drones to make commercial delivery flights in the U.S., while Wingcopter still needs to clear that hurdle.
UPS Flight Forward says it plans to expand its services beyond the medical and retail industries and into “solving long-standing challenges for high-tech, industrial manufacturing, hospitality, entertainment, and other customers.”
For example, UPS is working with CVS to determine how it can deliver prescriptions and other retail items from CVS stores to residential homes.
UPS Flight Forward says it is building a network of technology partners, so it’s possible that the company will continue working with Matternet while also using Wingcopter drones.
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