This summer is proving to be a monumental one for drone delivery, as established players scale their operations. There’s been a lot of drone delivery news to come out of this summer, from the launch of drone deliveries in new cities by existing companies, to the scheduling of events that could give us more insights into the future of delivery drones. Other July 2022 drone delivery dispatches include a semi-fresh “middle mile model” that wouldn’t require drones to come to people’s homes.
Given how much is happening this summer, I’ve rounded up all the updates into one. So with that, here are your July 2022 drone delivery dispatches:
Zipline announces plans for health deliveries in Tacoma, Washington
Drone delivery giant Zipline this month announced a partnership with MultiCare Health System, a not-for-profit healthcare organization in Washington, where Zipline will deliver medical products throughout MultiCare’s network of facilities, including hospitals, laboratories and doctors’ offices.
The partnership is set to kick off around MultiCares facility in the Tacoma area, where drones will deliver various medical supplies including lab samples, medications and test kits with the intent of creating a faster, on-demand delivery model.
Though, don’t expect to get deliveries today. The two companies said deliveries will likely start in 2024 pending regulatory approvals. From there, the drones will serve Pacific Northwest constituents over likely the next two years.
Zipline launches long-range drone deliveries with health companies in North Carolina
That’s not the only news to come out of Zipline this summer. At the end of June, Zipline began powering drone deliveries for three different, leading U.S. healthcare organizations in North Carolina: Novant Health, Magellan Rx Management, and Cardinal Health.
Each organization is working independently of each other, but all three work with Zipline, which delivers those company’s products out of a distribution center in Kannapolis, North Carolina. That distribution center is capable of serving customers within a 7,800 square mile area.
And all the projects have some significant differences. For example, with Cardinal Health, Zipline is delivering certain pharmaceutical products and medical supplies to Cannon Pharmacy Main. Meanwhile, in the Magellan RX Management project, Zipline is delivering prescription medications directly to patients’ homes.
Those deliveries began on June 22, with July being the first full month of operations.
Swiggy turns to ANRA to evaluate the feasibility of “middle mile drone delivery”
Swiggy, which is India’s largest online food delivery service, began drone deliveries just about this time last year in India through a partnership with the Indian government and ANRA Technologies, an airspace management and services provider for drones.
Those deliveries were pretty small scale, though they did fly beyond visual line of sight directly to customers. This year, Swiggy is taking a fresh approach: middle mile drone delivery.
The deliveries are of products in the company’s Instamart grocery delivery service, with tests in Bengaluru and Delhi-NCR. And in this test, ANRA’s software will integrate with TechEagle drones to replenish stocks between seller-run fulfillment centers and from a store to a common customer point. That means that — rather than delivering products directly to homes as most other companies including Wing do — a ground vehicle will pick up orders from the location for final delivery.
Commercial UAV Expo discusses drone delivery in both keynotes
If this isn’t an indication that drone delivery is a hot topic these days, then perhaps nothing is. There are two keynotes scheduled for the Commercial UAV Expo, and both have to do with drone delivery.
The Commercial UAV Expo is set for Sept. 6-8, 2022, at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas, and is considered one of the biggest drone events out there. In fact, the 2021 edition drew more than 2,700 attendees from 61 nations, particularly impressive given that there were still many COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
At the 2022 Commercial UAV Expo, there are two keynote presentations thus far.
One 2022 keynote, dubbed “The Transformative Power of Instant Logistics” is being led by Keller Rinaudo who is Chief Executive Officer at Zipline, which is the largest drone delivery company in the world (and, as evidenced by this post, continues to grow in the U.S
Another keynote for this year’s even is titled “Defining the Future of Drone Delivery.” That one is a panel format, and features the following speakers:
- Dallas Brooks, Aviation Regulatory Lead, Wing
- Jim O’Sullivan, VP, Regulatory & Special Projects, Matternet
- Tom Walker, Chief Executive Officer, DroneUp
- Jay Merkle, Executive Director, UAS Integration Office, Federal Aviation Administration (Moderator)
For those looking to get the latest drone delivery insights directly from the people influential in shaping it, this event, likely to be one of the biggest drone events of 2022, is not to be missed.
DroneUp uses Walmart delivery partnership to pivot into other drone use cases
DroneUp and Walmart delivery together have been quite the drone delivery duo, running deliveries of Walmart products primarily in Arkansas (but also a few other states).
But this summer, DroneUp and Walmart actually did something a bit different. On July 18, DroneUp announced a Flight Services Showcase, held at a Walmart store 100 in Bentonville, Arkansas. That showcase took the spotlight off of drone delivery, instead formally launching DroneUp’s flight services such as inspection, mapping and aerial imaging in the Northwest Arkansas market.
Wing shares unique look at prototype designs
We got a swell treat from Google-sister company Wing when it gave us a unique look at its prototype designs this month. We dug into them early this week, so check out the post here.
What other news did I miss? Share your other July 2022 drone delivery dispatches in the comments below!