Drone-Carrier Delivery Trucks for Improved Same-Day Shipping

AMP Workhorse electric delivery van 4 photos
Photo: AMP
AMP Workhorse truckAMP Horsefly droneAMP Workhorse truck
Yeah, as we’ve discussed before, drones might soon be part of our daily activities and big delivery companies are eager for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to give the green light for these unmanned aircraft to be deployed in massive numbers. Amazon has a delivery prototype as well as Google, but a new company says drones should be paired with electric trucks for efficiency.
Cincinnati-based AMP Electric Vehicles company says both delivery trucks and drones have their issue. Current trucks consume a lot of fuel due to their excessive stop-and-go schedule, while electric drones might have not reach all destination on a single battery charge from the main storage.

Why not both?

AMP considers that pairing drones with electric delivery vans is the best way to go. Their newly-designed “step van” meets all delivery standards while using an electric powertrain backed up by a range extender.

Called the Workhorse, the electric van is said to go 60 miles (97 km) on a full battery before the combustion engine kicks in, which should be enough for daily runs, except those very busy weeks around Christmas.

And each van will have it’s own deployable delivery drone (or maybe two), which could aid a lot with spreading the packages quicker in a certain area.

For example, if you have to make 5 deliveries in a neighborhood and you got 4 houses on the same street and the last one across the park, the delivery man could handle the close-together deliveries while the drone will grab the fifth package and fly it straight to its receiver on the other side of the park.

Less intelligent, but stronger drones

Amazon was advertising its drones capable to carry a load of up to 5 pounds (2.3 kg). That’s kinda’ reasonable considering that the drone also needs to carry the gear to make its way from the storehouse to the clients.

On the other hand AMP’s drone won’t need that much “orientation”, since they’ll get deployed by the van in the relative proximity of the delivery zone. This means it can get stronger components, offer double the carrying capacity and get named the Horsefly. The Workhorse and the Horsefly will make a bloody good team...

How will they navigate? The company said they’ll have some sort of control tower from where employees will monitor the drone’s flights. Several drones could be monitored by one person, meaning they have at least a rudimentary GPS-based guiding system.
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