UPS Will Develop A Fleet Of VTOL Drones For Unmanned Deliveries

UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF), a subsidiary of the delivery company UPS, has teamed up with Wingcopter, a German drone manufacturer, to develop a new fleet of quieter delivery drones. These new drones will be designed with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities (VTOL) and they'll be used for various delivery purposes both in the United States and internationally.

This is a collaboration between the two companies, UPS said in its announcement on Tuesday. Under this deal, the two will develop UPSFF's future drone fleet that will include 'diverse' features for meeting various delivery needs. The Wingcopter drones will be able to take off and land vertically, meaning they won't need as much space as traditional unmanned drones.

As well, these drones will transition to traditional horizontal flight while in the sky, enabling them to travel long distances and carry higher payloads. The drones could be used for more than delivering goods to consumers, according to UPSFF, also serving purposes for customers in the entertainment, manufacturing, hospitality, and other businesses.

These drones are capable of operating even in harsh weather environments, according to the company, which points out that Wingcopter's drones have already been used to deliver important medication and vaccines to otherwise isolated regions. This collaboration follows the UPSFF's FAA certification to operate a drone airline granted last year.

Thus far, UPS has dabbled with drone deliveries to consumers. Last year, for example, the company's subsidiary started working with a CVS store to deliver prescriptions to some customers in the US. This new drone fleet will expand the company's UAV delivery capabilities, however, paving the way for widespread use across industries.