UPS (NYSE:UPS) announced that the company is rolling out drones that will deliver medical supplies to a hospital in North Carolina.
The Atlanta, Ga.-based package delivery service unveiled that it had inked a deal with autonomous delivery drone startup Matternet in order to test the use of drones to carry medical supplies, according to a statement from both businesses on Tuesday.
The move will see the UPS drones, which are Matternet’s M2 quadcopters, send these deliveries to WakeMed hospital, located in Raleigh, North Carolina. To start out the experiment, Matternet drones will only carry payloads of up to five pounds, covering distances of up to 12.5 miles.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the North Carolina Department of Transportation will oversee the drone delivery program. Here’s what the companies had to say in regards to the move:
Throughout the WakeMed program, a medical professional will load a secure drone container with a medical sample or specimen – such as a blood sample – at one of WakeMed’s nearby facilities. The drone will fly along a predetermined flight path, monitored by a specially trained Remote Pilot-in-Command (RPIC), to a fixed landing pad at WakeMed’s main hospital and central pathology lab. This will be an ongoing program at WakeMed, and UPS and Matternet will use the learnings to consider how drones can be applied to improve transport services at other hospitals and medical facilities across the U.S.
UPS stock is up 1.4% on Tuesday.