This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Using drones for commercial delivery purposes is getting more sophisticated and new concepts are emerging. Delivery company UPS has become the latest concern to experiment with delivering goods by drone, instead of wheeled vehicles.

But UPS isn’t interested in sending drones out from its warehouse. Instead, the company’s experiment saw it launch an unnamed aerial vehicle from one of its familiar big brown trucks, an effort it says is designed to give it a way of avoiding driving to remote destinations.

It’s not the first time the company has used drones. It already does so in remote areas and in its own warehouses to check stock levels.

Senior expert in global engineering and sustainability Mark Wallace said: “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven.”

According to, the test saw a delivery truck modified with a roof hatch, through which the drone dangles a cage. A UPS driver opens the cage and pops the package inside, before sending the drone on its way. UPS imagines routes could be generated by its routing software, but for now is pre-programming destinations and directions.

The Workhorse Group drones the company’s playing with have a 30-minute flight time and can bear 10 pounds of kit.

The flight was an experiment and UPS says it has no idea or plans about making this a regular way of delivering stuff.