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Weather could keep delivery drones on the ground

Regulation isn't the only challenge for delivery drones.
Billy Steele
January 20, 2016
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A key threat to delivery drones isn't regulation, it's weather. DHL cancelled a demonstration of its package-toting UAV this week due to snow and a drop in temperatures. The shipping company was originally scheduled to show off a drone that can drop off 2-kilogram packages (around 4.5 pounds) at lockers. This proposed solution is different from the delivery aspirations of Amazon and others that plan to leave orders at your door.

So, why lockers? DHL says that using specified drop-off points will help the company avoid crashing into things at unfamiliar locations. Once your package arrives at the locker station, customers are given a code needed to retrieve it. The company also designed a new drone different from the one pictured above. This newer model is a tilt-wing aircraft that allows it to still take off vertically, but fly like a plane once it's airborne. DHL completed test flights with the new design already, citing that it's more energy efficient and capable of traveling longer distances.

DHL isn't just stopping and unmanned flying vehicles, either. The company is also working on driverless delivery vans. "It's unbelievable how well that works," said Deutsche Post board member Jürgen Gerdes.

[Image credit: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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