United Parcel Service’s new Flight Forward drone subsidiary will soon begin home prescription delivery from CVS Health.
The service, which will debut in a couple of U.S. cities in the coming weeks, reveals how the parcel delivery firm plans to expand its upstart drone business past hospital campuses.
The Atlanta-based firm this month won the U.S. government’s first permission to operate a drone airline, leapfrogging competitors like Amazon.com and Alphabet Inc’s Wing and clearing the way for the expansion of Flight Forward.
UPS, which owns 251 jet planes and charters around 300 more, is building its Flight Forward enterprise at a time when U.S. drone delivery is in its cradle. Regulations for operating those autonomous drones in U.S. airspace are not expected until 2021.
On Monday, Flight Forward and associate Matternet further declared a contract to ship biological samples and other cargo on the University of Utah Health hospital campuses. That will be much like the service at North Carolina’s WakeMed Hospital, where Flight Forward runs nearly ten flights per day, stated Bala Ganesh, VP of the advanced technology group at UPS.
Flight Forward also signed a hospital campus agreement with healthcare supplier Kaiser Permanente, UPS said.
Also, the corporate said pharmaceutical vendor AmerisourceBergen would use Flight Forward drones to maneuver pharmaceuticals, supplies, and records to select U.S. medical campuses it serves.
UPS rival FedEx last week shipped a residential package to a home in Christiansburg, Virginia, as a part of a trial service with Alphabet’s Wing Aviation.