Zipline offers a compelling, high value density delivery service in remote areas, so far demonstrated and operational in some countries in Africa.
Former Tesla CFO Deepak Ahuja will join Zipline’s leadership team and act as the company’s CBO and CFO.
Source: Former Tesla CFO joins drone delivery startup Zipline
Zipline has demonstrated an excellent solution for specific scenarios of topography, limited roads, and time sensitive high value package delivery.
I remain skeptical of “to the home” air delivery services in the near term, but someone will solve most of the challenging problems. When that happens, the labor market for package delivery will undergo a huge change.
Packages will originate at highly automated warehouse and distribution centers, will be flown automatically by delivery drones to their destination, and the package dropped off. The number of warehouse workers required will go down, and the need for truck-based package delivery staff will drop.
There are many delivery locations, however, that will not be well suited for air delivery. Think of apartments, condos, town houses – and homes with little or no yard area (typical of most newly constructed homes), or homes on heavily treed lots. Businesses may be the more likely initial destination – even if they have limitations, they may be more compelled to modify their landscape or building to support air drop packages.
The Post Office has proposed a system where the postal vehicle would continue to drive down the street, but small drones on the vehicle would airlift packages from the vehicle to the front door of homes, speeding up the overall delivery process.