The United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) is testing delivering mail through the use of drones.
The company first tried out the technology in Florida in the form of a drone that was launched from a UPS car roof and then used its technology to fly autonomously to its destination. It was dropped in a Florida home in the Tampa area.
The drone then returned to the vehicle where the driver was then able to return to the vehicle and go on to his next destination. The “tag-team” process allows the human element of the driver to be combined with a simpler form of the delivery in the form of the drone.
“We see this as an exploration into this new technology,” said John Dodero, vice president of industrial engineering at UPS. The company added that the move comes less than a month after it said that it would invest in advancing automation and other technology in the company.
Before the test, UPS tried out drone tests in its warehouses, while also testing out the technology for other purposes. These could help to check inventory or inspect planes and vehicles in order to reduce manual work.
“We have no idea how all that will play out until we find out how to integrate them into the business,” he said. Dodero noted that UPS is not looking to use drones as a replacement for drivers.
UPS shares grew 0.5% Tuesday.
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