March 31, 2021 | Eul Basa

Samsung Tests Drone Delivery In An Irish Town And The Results Are Promising

A small Irish town is one of the first places in the world to experience the future of parcel delivery. In Oranmore, Ireland, residents are being delivered their online orders by drone, courtesy of the Irish drone delivery company Manna. In a new partnership with Samsung, Manna has been testing a delivery process in which customers who order small electronics from Samsung's online store will get their items delivered to them "within three minutes."

According to Samsung, Manna is utilizing custom-developed "aerospace drones" to carry out the deliveries. These devices can fly at speeds of over 60 kilometers per hour, which is partly the reason why the three-minute delivery times are possible. That said, Manna is also operating its drones within a two-kilometer radius from their dispatch hub, so the proximity likely helps as well.

Before the Samsung partnership, Manna had already carried out deliveries to people in Oranmore using their drones. In 2020, the company inked a deal with Tesco supermarkets and began delivering small groceries or medicines around the town. While it has never operated beyond the area, it hopes that with Samsung by their side, they can bring the delivery service to all of Ireland.

Other companies have taken on similar initiatives. In 2016, Amazon tested drone delivery in the United Kingdom after receiving regulatory approval to do so. UPS also did the same thing, partnering with CVS to run isolated tests delivering prescriptions to a Florida retirement home. As more tests are conducted, we could eventually see drone delivery take off on a much larger scale.

In order for that to happen, however, there are a number of regulatory hurdles that drone companies like Manna would need to overcome. For example, in the US, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will, at the very least, require all drones to operate under some form of identification system that indicates ownership. It may take some time to work out all of the kinks; however, within the next few years, it is wholly possible that drone delivery could become the new standard service for small deliveries.


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