At the 2021 World Artificial Intelligence Conference, Meituan first disclosed its self-developed "urban low-altitude logistics network", which includes drones, ground handling equipment and air management system. It’s used for the deliveries under 3 kilometers and within 15 minutes. Founded in 2014, Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) is a publicly traded Drone Delivery company with proven technology. According to different distribution requirements, it has developed and produced three kinds of UAVs to achieve short, medium and long distance logistics distribution. Here Tattu Battery want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of drone delivery with you.
Pic from DDC
The advantages of drone delivery
1. Drone delivery can improve logistics efficiency
The direct distance between two points is the closest. Drones in the air running path is an almost straight line, thus, the transportation distance is short. What’s more, there are no traditional express logistics transportation route limitations, so the flight speed is fast. JD.com previously produced the world's first unmanned sorting center in Jiangsu province. The center can sort up to 9,000 packages an hour, making it three times more efficient than traditional methods. Because in the traditional way of distribution, most employees are engaged in some simple repetitive work, as the working hours, it is easy to get bored, while the machine does not. The UAV cargo delivery field will be like the unmanned sorting center for improved operational efficiency.
2. Drone delivery can save logistics costs
Although unmanned transport equipment will cost a lot of money at the initial stage, in the long run, its cost will be far lower than the cost of traditional manual delivery. For unmanned distribution equipment, there is almost no cost except charging and maintenance, while labor costs, on the other hand, will only increase over time.
3. Drone delivery promotes the economy of underdeveloped areas
In many economically underdeveloped areas, traffic is inconvenient and it takes a long time to buy things online. Drone transport can solve this problem, drive local consumption, and create more jobs to grow the local economy.
The disadvantages of drone delivery
- High initial investment cost. Due to the immature application of drone technology in the logistics industry, various hardware costs are still relatively high, resulting in high procurement costs.
- Immature technology. For example, the payload and battery life of drones need to be improved.
- Security risks. With the frequent exposure of various bomb incidents, the safety of drones still cannot eliminate public concerns.
- Drone delivery is vulnerable to the weather. Drones are smaller than civil aircraft and freighters in size and are more sensitive to weather. The weather is unpredictable, making it a big factor in the use of drones.
However, with the development of science and technology, drone cargo delivery will definitely become a new force to promote economic and social development. Let's see how far the industry can go from here.