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Drones in Transport

Airborne Drones discusses its recommendations for transport drones

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, November 1, 2018 / -- In recent years we’ve witnessed rapid urbanization in many areas, and this trend is set to continue into the future. The result of this rapid urbanization is increased pollution, congested roads, and decreased efficiency which is mainly caused by delays in the flow of people and goods. Urban first and last mile delivery is a major part of the problem; as online shopping increases, so does demand for this service.

Using drones for delivery provides major relief for inner city areas by taking unnecessary traffic off the roads and directing it into the skies instead.

“In contrast, an urban setting will have a completely different set of requirements. In Nigeria’s capital, Lagos, for example, the traffic is so notoriously bad the government is now looking at using drones as a delivery solution. In such a scenario, where obstacle avoidance and precise movement is more important, it may be more appropriate to use rotor-based drones, instead of ones with wings.” World Economic Forum. 2018.

Examples of how drone deliveries can work:
Scenario A: a long-haul delivery arrives from outside the city and is sorted at a warehouse, being separated automatically according to certain criteria, drones then collect packages from the conveyer belts for delivery. A smartphone app and GPS allows the customer to place orders and track their delivery.

Scenario B: the Delivery Drone sits on top of a delivery truck, awaiting a parcel from the driver; the barcode on the parcel is scanned by the drone, it then uses GPS to fly to the destination. Afterwards, the drone hooks up with the truck, recharges its batteries, and gets ready for its next delivery run.

Drone shipping has a number of benefits for both businesses and customers: waiting times are reduced from two to three days, down to a matter of hours, plus there is less chance of a package being damaged during transit and handling as drone flight is pretty smooth.

Non-standard infrastructure

Rural areas tend to have poorer infrastructures and may be more difficult to reach by traditional delivery methods. Delivery by drone can help to overcome this problem, providing occupants of rural areas with deliveries of everything from online shopping orders, to emergency medical supplies. Drones can help to reduce, and eventually replace, the existing complex processes of reaching rural areas, such as cars, boats, and postal workers.

Pass me that wrench?

UAVs could provide valuable support to intra-plant transport in addition to supplier-to-plant emergency deliveries. This also includes the express delivery of items on-site that are crucial in the maintaining of operations, such as the delivery of parts, tools, and lubricants.

Employing drones within warehouses provides the opportunity for a more flexible and accessible storage system, featuring high bays that would be unreachable by humans alone. The drones can be equipped with sensors which allow the system to observe and analyse the surrounding environment, allowing the drone to navigate safely through the warehouse, find the target object, and carry out inventory checks as programmed.

Delivery drones have the potential to revolutionise the way you do business, but only when used to their full advantage. Our recommendations include:

Manage for a fleet, not a flight: It’s important to understand that the focus should be on the solution to the business problem, which might require a number of UAVs. Enterprises should aim to acquire and manage a fleet of delivery drones suitable for different purposes to enhance business operations.

Plan for a fleet of smaller drones: There is a natural tendency for customers to go for bigger more powerful drones. It is often the case that a collection of smaller drones would perform much more effectively.

Customized solutions: There is no such thing as an all-round delivery or transport drone. Solutions need to be customized according to operational requirements. Most delivery drones are developed specifically for their applications (like the delivery of blood to inaccessible places, see example in Africa).

Change how work is done: As much as identifying the transport drones that are customized for its delivery purpose, we also recommend that companies view drones as an active part of the business processes and adjust these accordingly

Gideon Gerber
Airborne Drones
+ +27 87 550 4319
email us here

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