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Dropshipping and Drones – Today vs. Tomorrow

amazon-drone-deliveryThe only drone developments that directly impact dropshipping in the USA  today are Amazon and Google  testing drones developed for delivering goods to customers.


E-commerce giant Inc. is developing aerial drones that it said could deliver products directly to consumers’ homes within the next five years. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the vehicles could deliver up to five pounds in a 10-mile radius of Amazon’s 96 warehouses within 30 minutes. Bezos said. “It will work, and it will happen, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun,” he said, according to Bloomberg News.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration would have to approve the use of drones, Bloomberg said. Congress has directed it to write regulations to allow such vehicles in United States airspace by 2015. Drones are currently used to deliver textbooks in Australia, and an experiment using them is under way in China. In addition to the faster time to deliver products, drones could provide a supply chain with a smaller environmental impact. Bezos said, “It’s very green,” he said, according to Bloomberg. “It’s better than driving trucks around.”

But many other things are happening that could and will impact dropshipping:

Intel has invested more than $60m in Chinese drone maker Yuneec International as the US company seeks to entrench its chip technology in the fledgling unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market. The companies said they will work on developing future products together for consumers and industrial users, but provided no other details of their collaboration. Yuneec makes a range of drones built for aerial photography and imaging.  The move follows smaller investments in drone companies Airware and PrecisionHawk, which analysts say is part of Intel’s strategy to gain ground against ARM-based CPUs in the UAV market.

Intel competitor Qualcomm has invested in US drone maker 3D Robotics, according to the Seeking Alpha financial website, while Yuneec’s Chinese rival DJI Technology raised $75m funding in May 2015.Venture capitalists and companies are investing in drone technology on the expectation that UAVs will prove beneficial for consumers and industrial customers.

Sony has launched a drones as a service business unit, that uses its image sensor technology. Facebook is testing a UK-developed drone to enable internet connectivity in remote, unconnected areas.

While excitement grows in anticipation of mass adoption of drones, the industry has to overcome hurdles in regulation. Airline easyJet has trialled the use of drones to carry out automated testing on aircraft.

Yes, the industry is full of stories of drones:

Man shoots down drone over house

Social Internet start-up FairPromise is searching for drone operators to pull display advertising around populated areas.

Right now the impact on home delivery seems to be too much in the experimental stage to predict when (if) it will happen.
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