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LAXintl
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UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:10 pm

Coming to a neighborhood near you.

Its pretty impressive the amount of work UPS has accomplished to achieve certification.



UPS Flight Forward, the drone subsidiary of UPS, has achieved the highly restricted Part 135 air carrier certification, which allows for approved UPS drones to fly over people, at night and out of the operator's line of sight. The certification, the highest level of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for a drone delivery operation, is a key step in the company's plan to integrate drone delivery into the broader UPS logistics network.

The FAA certification gives UPS the wherewithal to build an operations control center for its drone program, where it can run "regular and frequent drone flights beyond the operator's visual line of sight". The company also intends to build out ground-based, detect-and-avoid (DAA) drone safety technologies to support future drone service expansion. The company also plans to form more partnerships with drone manufacturers and explore new services.


UPS' drone business achieves FAA air carrier certification
https://www.zdnet.com/article/ups-drone ... ification/

=
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UPlog
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 4:48 pm

They are working on a few different versions.

Here is the proposed residential delivery model which would be fitted on the top of trucks.

Image

Drones have been tested in Florida and Massachusetts

Here is another model

Image
I fly your boxes
 
IFlyVeryLittle
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:08 pm

I've never heard anyone make a credible argument for how this is a smart business move. What could be simpler and more efficient than a truck full of boxes and a man or woman who drives the truck and delivers the packages the last 50 feet? Anything so critical that it needs to fly on a drone to an address is likely going to need a delivery confirmation and not simply dropped in the grass. This is nothing but a stunt.
 
buzzard302
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:24 pm

I am also having a hard time visualizing how this is beneficial. What is the point of dispatching a drone from the top of a truck that's likely parked right in proximity to the delivery site?
 
PartsGuy20
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:35 pm

The only real benefits I can see from this are for areas where their trucks can't easily access, like rural residential areas with narrow streets, seasonal beach communities with (again) narrow streets and a lot of dead ends, etc. OR, it may help them during the holiday surge since the drone can be delivering to one place while the driver is delivering to another, negating the need for (some) additional seasonal manpower. Perhaps it also cuts down on their fuel costs if they can park the truck in one central place in a neighborhood and use the drone to handle deliveries to the surrounding streets? But fuel and any additional wear/maintenance savings would be offset easily by the cost of the drones themselves, the liability, etc.
It really does seem more like a gimmick than anything that would have a practical cost or efficiency benefit. I feel the same way about Amazon's efforts as well, although with them I understand it's just another way for them to try to handle the logistics themselves rather than relying on a 3rd party like UPS.
Could this just be a protectionist play by UPS to invest enough in this technology to get some important patents and effectively block someone like Amazon from being able to move forward on their own? I wouldn't rule that out either.
 
ALTF4
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:47 pm

In response to the predictable nay-sayers, one of the more successful businessmen, Bill Gates, said "We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let yourself be lulled into inaction."

I think there's a huge opportunity here. I'm sure the drone-on-the-truck idea is just a temporary idea. Amazon already has massively automated warehouses; who's to say that using a fleet of drones for delivery in urban areas, near warehouses, isn't feasible so there can be almost entirely automated delivery of suitable products? Today? No. In 5 years? Things change quickly.
The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:00 pm

If they develop a system to get packages automatically to the drone on top of the truck they will be able to dispatch a truck to an area, let the drone work for 3-5 hours canvassing a neighborhood and then have someone come by and get the truck. They could also utilize this technology to accept packages that are within range of the truck. It could be an option to leave a package o your doorstep within a window of time and the drone grabs it and puts it in the truck. When they pick the truck up and bring it back to the hub they can introduce the packages into the sorter.

Forgetting the truck - there are plenty of UPS stores around the country. With a fleet of drones that are based at these stores, packages could theoretically be taken from the hub direct to these stores and throughout the day loaded on drones to be delivered within those neighborhoods.
 
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Seabear
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 8:37 pm

How long before the first UPS drone is skyjacked by some reasonably proficient hackers?
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:30 pm

UPlog wrote:

Drones have been tested in Florida and Massachusetts


I've seen a lot of local press over the last month about their testing with WakeMed in Raleigh. According to this article they've made over 1000 flights, including beyond line of sight. Cool stuff.

https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/w ... s-reports/
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:32 pm

Seabear wrote:
How long before the first UPS drone is skyjacked by some reasonably proficient hackers?


Why waste the time on that? If you're a good hacker, simply hack their payment systems (or some other companies). No need to waste the time intercepting someone's socks from Amazon...
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
dfwjim1
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:08 pm

Has the testing done by UPS included working with air traffic control?
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:16 pm

This Can be huge in rural areas where you’re talking 10-15 minutes between stops. Or even in suburbs where the stop density just isn’t there. It’s not beneficial in places like NYC. Our drivers make good money, the final mile cost is expensive, this could be a real winner depending on how good it really is
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
Newark727
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:18 pm

Seabear wrote:
How long before the first UPS drone is skyjacked by some reasonably proficient hackers?


Only until UPS starts escorting the delivery flights with other drones fitted out for Wild Weasel missions :)
 
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SuseJ772
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:42 pm

I love people who say they can’t see why to do this. Clearly they have never had P&L responsibility. Now I am not saying this is going to work. There are complications here (mainly weather). But IF it did work this would cut their biggest expense (Labor) down significantly. Like game changing significantly.

Most likely this would come from centralized distribution centers so the need for drivers goes down by a huge magnitude. But even if they use the “truck / drone combo” (which full disclosure I think is just a ploy to keep the unions at bay until the point of no return) they still could deliver 3x-4x more packages per day with multiple drones per truck. Thus lowering labor maybe not as much as a centralized distribution center but still pretty drastically.
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
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ER757
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:45 pm

jetblueguy22 wrote:
This Can be huge in rural areas where you’re talking 10-15 minutes between stops. Or even in suburbs where the stop density just isn’t there. It’s not beneficial in places like NYC. Our drivers make good money, the final mile cost is expensive, this could be a real winner depending on how good it really is

This.
Makes sense to low-density areas where sending a truck well out of its way to make a single delivery (or two) is not efficient use of the vehicle
 
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ER757
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:48 pm

Seabear wrote:
How long before the first UPS drone is skyjacked by some reasonably proficient hackers?

Forget skyjacking. Just grab the thing when it lands :smile:
If you're smart enough to hack its systems to skyjack it, you are surely are smart enough to just swap out the controls when you have it in hand.
 
airzona11
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:34 pm

This is awesome. I worked on projects for this over a decade ago, very interesting to see this start to get closer to fruition.

Last mile is expensive.
Traffic is expensive.
Rural is expensive.
On demand is expensive.

This all goes a long way in those fields.

Seabear wrote:
How long before the first UPS drone is skyjacked by some reasonably proficient hackers?


No different than hacking risk to any other core systems. These also do not on legacy backends, which are often where there is a lot of vulnerability.
 
Blockplus
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:06 pm

Remember when you could sit on the porch and hear the bees buzzing.... now it will be the incessant buzzing of quad to octocopers. Noise pollution. How long till the first lawsuit claiming hearing loss or injury from one of these...
 
B777LRF
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:18 pm

Noise pollution is one thing, invasion of privacy another.

Like others I don't really see the need anywhere else but areas which are difficult to access. DHL's already operating their 'Parcelcopter*, aimed at just that market. That makes more sense; a service dedicated to remote areas transporting valuable cargo such as medicine and supplies.

But for delivering a socket wrench to Mr. Smith at 1140 Despair Lane, Suburbia VX, no, I don't see the market. And that's not least owed to my opening points.
Signature. You just read one.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:52 pm

SuseJ772 wrote:
I love people who say they can’t see why to do this. Clearly they have never had P&L responsibility. Now I am not saying this is going to work. There are complications here (mainly weather). But IF it did work this would cut their biggest expense (Labor) down significantly. Like game changing significantly.

Most likely this would come from centralized distribution centers so the need for drivers goes down by a huge magnitude. But even if they use the “truck / drone combo” (which full disclosure I think is just a ploy to keep the unions at bay until the point of no return) they still could deliver 3x-4x more packages per day with multiple drones per truck. Thus lowering labor maybe not as much as a centralized distribution center but still pretty drastically.

Not only as you state, there is a significant multiplier effect. I live in an area with canyons. The drive from one residential delivery point to another is can be 50 feet or miles. Put 3 drones on a truck and an 3 hours of driving becomes 45 minutes.

The labor force multiplier in LA, DC, NYC, Portland, Seattle, Boston, and any other congested city is awesome! In downtowns, I see fees for buildings without drone delivery points.

This could double profit margins.

Lightsaber
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SierraPacific
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:47 am

Cool stuff

In practicality, I see many municipalities losing it over these little guys flying around so I forsee them being used for urgent packages mainly (Medical or other extremely time-sensitive documents) rather than someones fruit of the loom shipment.
 
Dieuwer
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:59 am

Fake News.
You really want a dozen+ drones flying in your street 24/7 making you mad crazy from the combined buzzing sounds?? Yes, a dozen because if UPS is allowed then also Amazon, Apple, Fedex, Google, Target, Walmart, etc.
 
HPRamper
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:29 am

Dieuwer wrote:
Fake News.
You really want a dozen+ drones flying in your street 24/7 making you mad crazy from the combined buzzing sounds?? Yes, a dozen because if UPS is allowed then also Amazon, Apple, Fedex, Google, Target, Walmart, etc.

Amazon and FedEx are already well down that path with UPS.
https://about.van.fedex.com/newsroom/dr ... -walgreen/
 
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lightsaber
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:50 am

HPRamper wrote:
Dieuwer wrote:
Fake News.
You really want a dozen+ drones flying in your street 24/7 making you mad crazy from the combined buzzing sounds?? Yes, a dozen because if UPS is allowed then also Amazon, Apple, Fedex, Google, Target, Walmart, etc.

Amazon and FedEx are already well down that path with UPS.
https://about.van.fedex.com/newsroom/dr ... -walgreen/

As traffic gets worse and worse, something needs to be done. As to noise, the same people who complain own a Harley with aftermarket pipes...

Lightsaber
Winter is coming.
 
ParkFSI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:04 pm

I would find it fascinating to see drones flying around but,,,, I would be worried about someone getting hurt.
Thread killer
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:11 pm

ParkFSI wrote:
I would find it fascinating to see drones flying around but,,,, I would be worried about someone getting hurt.


Then don't ride in a car. :D
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:14 pm

Blockplus wrote:
Remember when you could sit on the porch and hear the bees buzzing.... now it will be the incessant buzzing of quad to octocopers. Noise pollution. How long till the first lawsuit claiming hearing loss or injury from one of these...


So you think it's better to have loud diesel trucks criss-crossing neighborhood streets and polluting the environment?

FAIL
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
Redd
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:37 pm

RDUDDJI wrote:
Blockplus wrote:
Remember when you could sit on the porch and hear the bees buzzing.... now it will be the incessant buzzing of quad to octocopers. Noise pollution. How long till the first lawsuit claiming hearing loss or injury from one of these...


So you think it's better to have loud diesel trucks criss-crossing neighborhood streets and polluting the environment?

FAIL



Let's start with the fact that delivery trucks aren't that loud, and the buzz of a drone has a much different sound frequency and can have an adverse effect on the human brain... This is definitely a quality of life issue.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:53 pm

Redd wrote:
RDUDDJI wrote:
Blockplus wrote:
Remember when you could sit on the porch and hear the bees buzzing.... now it will be the incessant buzzing of quad to octocopers. Noise pollution. How long till the first lawsuit claiming hearing loss or injury from one of these...


So you think it's better to have loud diesel trucks criss-crossing neighborhood streets and polluting the environment?

FAIL



Let's start with the fact that delivery trucks aren't that loud, and the buzz of a drone has a much different sound frequency and can have an adverse effect on the human brain... This is definitely a quality of life issue.


I was laying on my couch watching TV a month or so ago and heard a buzzing noise and couldn’t figure out what it was. I went outside and my neighbor was flying a drone getting photos of their house for a real estate listing.
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:07 pm

Redd wrote:

Let's start with the fact that delivery trucks aren't that loud, and the buzz of a drone has a much different sound frequency and can have an adverse effect on the human brain... This is definitely a quality of life issue.


Get your hearing checked. A UPS truck (or similar) revving up, or downshifting, is many times louder than a drone. I can hear ours coming ~400m (1/4mi.) away. My drone can't be heard when it's 25m (80ft) AGL.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
Dieuwer
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:09 pm

RDUDDJI wrote:
Blockplus wrote:
Remember when you could sit on the porch and hear the bees buzzing.... now it will be the incessant buzzing of quad to octocopers. Noise pollution. How long till the first lawsuit claiming hearing loss or injury from one of these...


So you think it's better to have loud diesel trucks criss-crossing neighborhood streets and polluting the environment?

FAIL


Electric truck. Almost no sound whatsoever.

https://electrek.co/2019/10/04/tesla-se ... cks-pepsi/
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:41 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
RDUDDJI wrote:
Blockplus wrote:
Remember when you could sit on the porch and hear the bees buzzing.... now it will be the incessant buzzing of quad to octocopers. Noise pollution. How long till the first lawsuit claiming hearing loss or injury from one of these...


So you think it's better to have loud diesel trucks criss-crossing neighborhood streets and polluting the environment?

FAIL


Electric truck. Almost no sound whatsoever.

https://electrek.co/2019/10/04/tesla-se ... cks-pepsi/


Diesel != electric.

Bicycles are also quiet, but since 99+% of home deliveries aren't made via bicycle or electric truck, your point is moot.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
ParkFSI
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:51 pm

RDUDDJI wrote:
ParkFSI wrote:
I would find it fascinating to see drones flying around but,,,, I would be worried about someone getting hurt.


Then don't ride in a car. :D


O I hear ya ! I have been driving for 45 years with about 1.25 million miles of windshield time and never been in a accident, so I’m a little nervous on the road.
What I was thinking about is little Johnny is playing in the front yard (highly unlikely these days) and here comes a drone with cargo, how is that going to be handled ? Or how about fido, have you seen how some dogs react to RC machines ! : )
Thread killer
 
Redd
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Re: UPS drone unit achieves FAA air carrier certification

Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:45 am

RDUDDJI wrote:
Redd wrote:

Let's start with the fact that delivery trucks aren't that loud, and the buzz of a drone has a much different sound frequency and can have an adverse effect on the human brain... This is definitely a quality of life issue.


Get your hearing checked. A UPS truck (or similar) revving up, or downshifting, is many times louder than a drone. I can hear ours coming ~400m (1/4mi.) away. My drone can't be heard when it's 25m (80ft) AGL.


My hearing is just fine ;) I'm not sure where you live, but in Europe, the delivery trucks are usually Mercedes Sprinters, and they're not that loud. Also, I was talking about the difference in sound, the frequency. There are many research papers on the topic of how certain sounds influence the brain. I frequency buzzing noises rank as some of the most annoying and disconcerting.

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