Drone delivery could be the future of package distribution, with Amazon beginning testing of its Prime Air service in India. But first to the new way of delivering is online marketplace Alibaba.
Alibaba began a trail offering its drone delivery service today according to Taobao. It has teamed up with Shanghai YTO Express and will be running the test from 4 to 6 February.
The drone delivery test run will be used on normal customers living within the delivery range. 450 customers will have their packages delivered by drone – specifically ginger tea which is the only thing being tested right now. Nice and light then.
The packages are currently limited to under 340g but will be delivered within an hour of ordering. Customers who are eligible for the service must live within a certain radius of the distribution sites in GuangZhou, Beijing and Shanghai.
Amazon is still in the early testing phases of Prime Air with its drone restricted to set routes in India. On the hardware front Amazon seems to be pushing boundaries with drones capable of lifting 2.26kg packages that travel at 80kph. The laws concerning drones are still in their infancy but most testing is going on away from US soil, just in case.