On May 29, delivery service Ele.me held a press conference in Shanghai, declaring it will employ unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver food, as reported by Sohu.
The service, which is the first in Shanghai, is still in its trial phase and the delivery area, covering 58 square kilometers, is currently limited to Jinshan Industrial Park, advised Kang Jia, Chief Operating Officer of Ele.me.
Image via Kankanews
Instead of delivering orders directly to your door, the drones are responsible for the route between one distribution center and another. Delivery drivers will manage the rest of the process.
Without a doubt, speed is the most significant advantage and attribute of the new service. This was proven during the press conference when an audience member placed an order from the app. Both delivery man and delivery drone were dispatched at the same time. The drone finished the 3.4-kilometer distance within four minutes, while the same route took the delivery driver 12 minutes.
Despite the convenience of the new technology, many netizens can’t help but worry about the safety issues.“What will happen if the weather is bad or the drone is out of battery? Will the food fall to my head?”one netizen commented on Netease.
Image via ifeng
“Our delivery boxes are a secured part of the drones, so the food won’t come down,” Zou Li, project manager at Ele.me, explains to Kankanews. “Besides, we undertake a routine examination before each flight, and regular maintenance will ensure its stability and safety.”
“By utilizing unmanned delivery drones, we hope to limit the time of each delivery to 20 minutes. Once the technology is more sophisticated, we plan to extend it across the entire city,” advises Kang.
[Title image via Sina]