Portland Ore. Skyward, a Verizon company, and UPS Flight Forward today announced collaborative efforts to deliver retail products with drones connected to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, as well as 5G testing and integration for delivery. The companies aim to offer retail products via connected drones in The Villages, Florida.
“We will need the ability to manage and support multiple drones, flying simultaneously, being dispatched from a central location, and operating in a safe and secure environment. To do this at scale, along with Verizon and Skyward, we will need 5G power,” said Carol P. Tommy, CEO of UPS.
“We are just starting to see how the power of 5G Ultra Broadband will transform the way companies operate,” said Rima Qureshi, Director of Strategy at Verizon. “By partnering with UPS and other innovative companies, we can learn from each other’s expertise and collaborate to create solutions that help propel the world forward.”
In 2020 Verizon, UPS Flight Forward, and Skyward have begun testing 4G LTE in delivery drones to demonstrate cellular reliability and performance at an altitude.
“The low latency of 5G and edge computing is ideal for monitoring air traffic in and out of a busy logistics center, especially those that use mixed fleets of autonomous vehicles such as drones, trucks and aircraft,” said Maria Scott, President of Skywards. “This year, we will further collaborate with UPS by testing 5G Ultra Broadband integrations to deliver the sky.”
UPS has operated more than 3,800 successful drone delivery flights since the creation of UPS Flight Forward, its Federal Aviation Administration-approved drone delivery company in 2019. But in 2020, much more drone deliveries emerged from Rapid Delivery of Essential Healthcare Items – During the global pandemic, it has provided elderly people at high risk with the option of fast and contactless delivery to stay healthy at home.
“With Verizon 5G and Skyward, we will be able to transform the delivery experience – more personal, more on-demand and with the same safety, efficiency and reliability that our customers trust today.” Bala Ganesh, vice president of advanced technology group at UPS, said.