Last year the Workhorse Group demonstrated their HorseFly drone delivery system for the first time. In April of this year, we reported that workhorse received a patent for their HorseFly truck-launched, drone delivery system. Now the company announces that their trail program will start in Loveland, Ohio. Packages delivered by drone, a scenario that once seemed like a long way off, is now rapidly becoming a reality.

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Packages delivered by drone in Ohio

Last week the WorkHorse Group announced, that as part of the FAA-approved UAS Integration Pilot Program, the company has started to deliver packages by drone in Loveland, Ohio near the city of Cincinnati. An autonomous drone, called HorseFly launches from the roof of a delivery truck to complete the last-mile delivery of a package to its final destination.

In select Cincinnati ZIP codes, customers are able to opt into the Workforce program and accept their packages, to be delivered by drone. To comply with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules the truck driver maintains line-of-sight with the autonomous flying drone at all times. With the WorkHorse Ares Drone Package Delivery app customers will be able to track their package.

The Workhorse Group will use data collected from the test in Ohio to better understand their customers’ preferences and to build support for ‘expanded use cases’ from the FAA. In their press release the company describes the drone delivery process as follows:

“The truck delivery driver loads the package and launches the HorseFly drone The HorseFly drone autonomously launches from the roof of the delivery truck, gains altitude and proceeds to the delivery location, monitoring by a centralized HorseFly control center. The consumer can also monitor the progress of their package delivery through their downloaded app At the delivery location, which the consumer can choose on the app by touching the point on a map, the drone autonomously descends and the package is released. The consumer can opt-in to receive a photograph and confirmation of their delivery. The HorseFly drone returns to the delivery truck at a planned stop and autonomously redocks and recharges for its next delivery.”

According to the Workhorse Group, the HorseFly octocopter can reach speeds up to 50 miles per hour while carrying packages up to 10 lb. The flight time is about 30 minutes on a single charge at a cost of $0.03 per mile.

What do you think about receiving your packages by drone? Let us know in the comments below.

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