On a move that may quickly overtake Amazon’s development curve, a Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com plans on building around 150 airports aimed at drone delivery usage. It’s one of the most promising markets currently waiting to achieve its potential: autonomous aerial deliveries. Companies such as Amazon, Google, and JD compete to be the first to produce an efficient drone delivery system and consequently control a big chunk of the market. The premise that people can have their recently bought, products delivered at their step in a matter of hours and minutes hungers new investors. It is a brand-new way to value e-commerce and, most likely, grow sales numbers. While American companies still struggle against the American government to have their airspace restrictions revised, Chinese companies to not face such difficulties with their government. Therefore, in the race to become the very first e-commerce company to successfully implement a drone delivery service on a larger scale, China is fast outgrowing American companies.
JD.com is building around 150 drone launch facilities in southwestern Sichuan province for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV’s) package delivery. After successfully securing government approval in a set of Chinese provinces, JD.com is ready to lead commercial drone innovation. The company aims to have these facilities ready by 2020 and consequently improve delivery efficiency in remote areas in China, as well as decrease the current delivery costs by trunk. JD.com CEO Richard Liu said this type of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle delivery will allow the costs of shipping to be 70% cheaper; amazing news for consumers and sellers.
Contrary to Amazon, JD.com is not focusing their drone delivery service in big cities and massive urban areas. Instead, the company targeted rural areas, far from these megacities with a high number of population. By doing this, JD.com not only as more room to test their
services without the government imposing rules due to the danger of drones flying over buildings, restricted areas, and crowds of people; but also, helps these remote areas population and finds new e-costumers. Currently, a JD.com drone can carry up to 50kg payloads, however, the company is aiming for a maximum of 500kg in a near future.
JD.com had already previously tested their aerial delivery services during a major shopping festival last year. In 11 of November 2016 during the “Single’s Day” festival, five models of the fully-automated drones carrying packages of different volumes and weights, were launched from local delivery stations. A drone operator responsible for the trial run pre-planned the aerial routes on the drone’s software, which, autonomously, delivered the products on the designated drop zones.
For USA companies, it is hard to say when will the government finally facilitate the future development and tests of UAV delivery. While American parents are growing very fond of drones for kids, the American consumer discovers the wonders of this new technology, drones for sale are for everyone; American government still imposes many restrictions on the use of the aerospace and the problems drone may create if they interfere with planes or helicopters. Innovators are working hard to make this technology safer, faster, cheaper, more efficient. Without a doubt, we are witnessing the surge of a new technology and a new industry, the big question is who will mark this new era, which company will be the first to control the market as UPS did. Who will be the king of autonomous aerial delivery? We, as drone enthusiasts stand alert, watching, reading, flying, learning. It is a very curious and interesting era to live in, and we are all part of it.
What do you think of UAV delivery? Do you live in an area where such service will make a huge difference? Are you against this type of drone usage? Let us know in the comment section below, we love to read your opinion. Don’t forget to share this piece of news with your fellow drone enthusiasts, the technology we love is rapidly becoming more efficient and important. Have a great day!