UPS Tests Drone Delivery of Medical Supplies
To combat the spread of COVID-19, many companies in the private sector are starting to think innovatively. This includes UPS who has begun testing whether their commercial drones could be used to deliver medical supplies.
Partnering with Workhorse Group, DroneUp and the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, UPS held a three-day simulation that tested the drones ability to deliver coronavirus tests. The simulation was held on the empty campus of Saint Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Va.
It took a team of 45 to run the simulation from start to finish, including eight certified drone pilots. The simulation was designed to mimic a real-world scenario that included normal obstacles like trees, power lines and changes of elevation.
The companies report that their simulation was largely successful. 80 out of 81 of the packages were successfully delivered within 10 feet of the exact position that they were supposed to land on. The only mission that wasn’t successful was abandoned before it began due to wind speeds.
“We’ve proven through ongoing commercial drone delivery programs that effective drone delivery of medical products is faster than conventional ground-based transportation,” Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation office, said to Fox News. “Drones offer a low-touch option for delivery of lab specimens and medical products that could make a significant impact in an urgent response application.”
Bezos Returns to Management Role as Company Focuses on the Pandemic
Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has taken his foot off the gas when it comes to managing the company’s day-to-day operations. But as coronavirus challenges Amazon and the rest of the world, Bezos is returning to focusing on the short-term problems facing the company, and there are many.
With an influx of demand for delivery services, the company has faced a labor shortage and announced that they would be hiring hundreds of thousands of new employees. There have also been problems with labor unrest about the company’s handling of the coronavirus and supply chain issues.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Bezos’ focus was on strategy and long-term projects, but now his role includes daily meetings and phone calls that determine the company’s response and testing.
“For now, my own time and thinking continues to be focused on Covid-19 and how Amazon can help while we’re in the middle of it,” Bezos wrote in a letter to shareholders that was released last week.
Bezos’ role in the company might have changed, but that does not mean that he is not being compensated well. Amazon is one of the few companies that has seen an increase in revenue from the pandemic, and it is estimated that Bezos has added $25 billion to his personal fortune since early March.