Aerial drones are emerging as a way to help solve challenges associated with last-mile deliveries in a number of conditions and environments. Their potential viability shines brightest for logistics services in hard-to-reach environments and where speedy deliveries might be required, such as for the transport of urgent medical supplies.
It is worth noting that technology development challenges and a murky regulatory framework could prevent widespread adoption of drones before they ever become an integral part of delivery services.
Realizing the opportunities drones might unlock in the last-mile delivery segment, UPS Inc., FedEx Corp., Amazon.com Inc., and the Canadian government have begun limited deliveries with the aerial devices.
Drones have the potential to reduce greenhouse emissions by 99 percent when compared with cars and trucks during the last leg of delivery, according to research firm AlphaBeta in a study commissioned by drone-delivery company Wing.