How would you feel about the Postal Service delivering your ecommerce packages by drone? (And how would you feel about receiving packages by drone?)
The Official Mail Guide (OMG) said the USPS has been exploring drone use and is now seeking bids, and the publication pointed to government postings for details.
According to the solicitation synopsis found on the FBO.gov website, the USPS is seeking information from drone operators and developers that are interested in providing aircraft and aircraft operations for delivery of mail. The bid request comes as the Postal Service investigates the feasibility of utilizing drones as delivery vehicles for mail as an integrated part of its vehicle delivery fleet.
“The Postal Service recognizes that the ability of UAS to supplement mail delivery and information collection can substantially benefit the country and further the development of other autonomous systems. “
The Postal Service is seeking market information, and based the level of interest from the industry, “may identify candidates for a future solicitation to develop the Postal Service’s UAS operations and demonstrate the necessary reliability and safety of unmanned aircraft technology.”
The USPS anticipates using drones on specific delivery routes that have high operational costs.
“UAS will be operated for a minimum of eight (8) continuous hours per day with exchangeable batteries, over hilly terrain, water, semi-improved roads, and, eventually, over city streets.
“The UAS will make on average four flights and deliveries per day of mail and packages, but may have as many as three per operational hour; additionally stops will be made to collect data from specified locations as value is determined.”
Six years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talked about the potential of drone package-delivery on a segment of 60 Minutes. Now it doesn’t seem so far-fetched after all.