UPS completes first residential drone deliveries from a CVS Pharmacy

Grant Boone
November 7, 2019

The drones flew autonomously, but were monitored by a remote operator who could take control if required. Once at the destination, the drone hovered 20 feet over the properties and lowered the packages by cable to the ground. UPS was the first company to get a Part 135 Standard certification from the FAA, which authorizes it to operate a 'drone airline'.

UPS Chief Executive Officer David Abney is betting that drone deliveries will grow quickly, especially in rural areas, and is investing to keep the courier competitive with Inc., Alphabet Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Flight Forward's maiden delivery flight on Friday in Cary, North Carolina, beat rivals in one phase of the race for the nascent market.

Other similar system have been deployed successfully to deliver blood in Rwanda as well as in Switzerland where a Matternet drone has already taken more than 3,000 flights.

UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward successfully completed its first revenue-generating drone delivery of a medical prescription from a CVS pharmacy directly to a customer's home in Cary, North Carolina on November 1, 2019. A month later, CVS announced that it had become the first retail health care company to work with UPS to explore the use of drones for deliveries.

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"We now have an opportunity to offer different drone delivery solutions, tailored to meet customer needs for speed and convenience".

UPS and CVS said on Tuesday the deliveries were the first of their kind under a program approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The package company and its partner, CVS, have completed the first commercial medical drone delivery in the US.

UPS and its Flight Forward division has begun delivering prescriptions to paying customers via drone. "We are delighted to make new services that will shatter preconceived notions of how, when and where by merchandise can be sent". There, the business is using a Matternet M2 quadcopter to transport healthcare supplies during the WakeMed medical center campus. It also bodes well for mainstream adoption of drone delivery, even if it's likely to be a long while before you can assume your prescription pills will descend from the skies.

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