UPS and CVS are teaming up to deliver prescription medicine via drone to residents of the Villages Retirement Community in Florida. The service, which will use Matternet’s M2 drones, is being conducted with authorisation from the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to theverge.com, the drone deliveries begin in early May. The first flights are to be less than half a mile where the medicines are flown to a pickup location near the retirement community. Initially, a UPS ground vehicle completes the delivery to the resident’s door. The prescriptions are delivered from one CVS store, with two additional stores joining at a later date.
UPS, which has been conducting limited drone delivery experiments in North Carolina, said it is expanding its drone service to help people who are in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, said,“Our new drone delivery service will help CVS provide safe and efficient deliveries of medicines to this large retirement community, enabling residents to receive medications without leaving their homes.” He continued, “UPS is committed to playing its part in fighting covid-19 and this is another way we can support our healthcare customers and individuals with innovative solutions.”
As reported by Urban Air Mobility News, these aren’t the first drone deliveries in the US, nor are they the first from UPS. Google offshoot Wing, launched a drone delivery service of its own last year in Virginia, which delivers over-the-counter medicines and other health-based items.
UPS received government approval to operate a “drone airline” last October. Since then, the logistics giant’s drone subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward, has conducted several thousand deliveries of prescriptions to retirement communities in North Carolina.
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