Commentary: Drone-Delivery Projects Must Look Beyond the Hype

Commentary: Drone-Delivery Projects Must Look Beyond the Hype

This article questions the common assumptions that delivery drones would be more efficient, cost less and be better for the environment.

Key findings

“For now, commercial drones for urban areas require human operators because certification for units to operate fully autonomously in densely populated zones is still several years away, at best.”

“As far as power goes, drones typically are electrically powered, which doesn’t necessarily make them more cost-efficient than conventional services.”

“The efficiency hurdles for ground-parcel deliveries on urban routes are largely the result of the constraints of a relatively small group of specific customers, including delivery-time windows or accessibility restrictions. So, the key to unlocking substantial efficiency gains lies in serving these customers differently.”

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