Drones may not be ready to plop a stack of pepperoni pizzas into your backyard, but they’re gearing up to do something potentially better: deliver the antacids to help you manage the resulting heartburn.
On Monday, subsidiaries of CVS and UPS said they’re exploring ways to move the drugstore’s products with the logistics giant’s drones. The news follows the start on Friday of a pilot run by Alphabet’s drone outfit, Wing, and Walgreens, delivering bundles of over-the-counter medicines, tissues, diapers, and more to residents of rural Christiansburg, Virginia.
The close timing of the announcements hints at a turning point where drone delivery starts to get real. Companies have made technological and logistical advances, puzzling out the mechanics of moving goods by air; meanwhile, regulators have settled on how to let drones take off without making a mess of America’s crowded, complex airspace. This year, the FAA gave each company a Part 135 certification, making them official airlines with the right to make commercial deliveries.