This week was the first annual National Drone Safety Awareness Week!  All week long, we examined how drones are shaking up certain industries such as infrastructure, public safety, marketing and more! As we end National Drone Safety Awareness week, we take a look at how drones are impacting package deliveries. Package delivery via drone has been the topic of interest since before consumer drones began gaining popularity. The reality that your online order would be dropped on your doorstep by a little quadcopter that can cover miles of distance without running into traffic is just over the horizon. These advancements in drone technology will be coming to our neighborhoods and cities sooner than we think. As the AI in these advanced drones gets better and safer, drones are going to become a part of everyday life.

This past October, UPS’s new drone company UPS Flight Forward received a special certification from the FAA that allows them to deliver medical packages using drones. The Part 135 operating certification grants UPS the ability to deliver healthcare supplies with drones flown beyond visual line of sight. Not being limited by the line of sight restriction of the normal commercial drone certification allows the aircraft to deliver packages to locations that are several miles away from the drone’s take-off point.

This breakthrough certification opens the doors for medical supplies to be delivered without the common issues of ground delivery, such as traffic and road construction. UPS isn’t the only company to be making major strides in drone delivery. Back in June, Amazon unveiled their self-piloting Prime Air drone that is designed to deliver packages to residences. The drones will be equipped with many different types of sensors to help them safely deliver right to your doorstep. The drones are capable of delivering packages under 5 pounds up to 15 miles away. Their goal is to make this possible in less than 30 minutes.

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