UPS is developing the next generation of delivery drones as it enters its first commercial partnership with a drone manufacturer.
The delivery giant’s dedicated drone delivery arm Flight Forward has partnered with German tech startup Wingcopter to develop a new range of delivery drones.
In October the delivery giant announced it had received the U.S. government’s first full Part 135 Standard certification to operate a drone airline and could begin making commercial, medical and industrial deliveries.
Wingcopter’s current range of drones are capable of flying autonomously at up to 150 mph and are able to deliver packages in a 75 mile-radius.
Its drones also use a tilt-rotor design which enable them to switch from hovering and vertical lift to a low-noise forward flight mode, making them more suitable for delivery over populated areas.
“Drone delivery is not a one-size-fits-all operation,” UPS Advanced Technology Group’s Bala Ganesh said.
“Our collaboration with Wingcopter helps pave the way for us to start drone delivery service in new use-cases. UPS Flight Forward is building a network of technology partners to broaden our unique capability to serve customers and extend our leadership in drone delivery.”
The first step will be to certify Wingcopter’s drones for commercial delivery in the US by the FAA.