UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company, delivered a parcel via drone yesterday in a small town outside of Tampa, Fla.
The drone was mounted on the top of a delivery truck. The driver loaded a package into a cage from inside the truck, which is suspended under the drone through a hatch. The roof slid back to expose the drone, the driver pressed a button on a tablet and the drone was off to fly autonomously to its destination.
The truck driver and the drone, an octocopter, shared the work. After launching the aircraft, the driver drove to deliver another package. The drone then docked back on the truck down the road to recharge. Since it’s still illegal to fly a drone beyond the line of sight of the operator without special permission from the FAA, UPS probably had an observer making sure the drone performed correctly. We’ve reached out to UPS to confirm.
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