Workhorse partners with USOG to launch Pilot programmes for drone delivery of medical supplies

by Michael Willoughby

Workhorse Group, an American technology company focused on providing sustainable and cost-effective electric-mobility solutions to the transportation sector has partnered with Unmanned SystemsOperations Group, Inc. (“USOG”), a provider of end-to-end, unmanned mobile medical delivery logistics, to launch an initial pilot drone delivery programme in the San Diego area with the goal of pursuing additional programmes for healthcare providers, pharmacies, and specialized medical courier services using Workhorse’s HorseFly^™, a fully functional drone delivery system.

Workhorse designed the HorseFly as a custom-built, high-efficiency unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which is fully integrated with the Company’s NGEN electric delivery vehicles as well as its legacy models through a completely cloud-based software system. In practice, USOG personnel will be able to monitor multiple autonomous UAV flights while customers are able to track their deliveries through a delivery app which allows for real-time data transmission for information such as package location and vehicle status as well as onboard video.

The HorseFly system conforms to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) standards for UAV operation in the United States. Workhorse and USOG will be operating these pilot programmes in compliance within all FAA rules and regulations and are also subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a 1996 Federal law that restricts access to
individuals’ private medical information.

Workhorse and USOG are initially working together in the FAA’s unmanned aerial system (UAS) Integration Pilot Programme (IPP) in San Diego, CA, in which USOG is utilizing a Workhorse step van and Horsefly with the goal of adding additional programmes in the coming months.

“USOG’s vision is to enable nationwide medical deliveries by UAV, and we couldn’t think of a better application for our HorseFly system,” said Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes. “We look forward to working closely with USOG as well as with the FAA and other key stakeholders on safe, secure, and timely deliveries in addition to maintaining patient privacy. While we recognize the
immediate benefits of utilizing our technology in such a vital application, we’re also excited about the possibilities these types of deliveries can represent across a variety of industries and use cases on a much larger scale. As the only U.S. patented truck drone-launched system, we believe we are in an excellent position to take share in a number of nascent delivery markets.”

“This partnership represents a game-changing opportunity the broader medical field, which could set a new standard for more effective and timely patient treatment options empowered by drone logistics,” added USOG CEO Pharns Genece. “Workhorse has already delivered a complete system to us, and we are well-positioned to take advantage of the FAA IPP programme in the near term.

Going forward, we will look to expand our work with innovative companies in one of the largest medical markets in the U.S. Our role in the chain of custody, when delivering or moving any medical cargo, is for our customers to be the number one priority. With Workhorse and its HorseFly^™ system, we believe we’ll be able to save more lives through the secure and timely delivery of medical assets via unmanned systems.”