Look! Up in the sky! It’s a … another drone?

If a consulting company’s numbers are accurate, drone delivery will be dramatically more frequent – and visible – by the end of the next couple of decades.

If costs and technology continue to pave the way for unmanned deliveries, companies such as Amazon may be moving their products from warehouses to homes using drones 30% of the time on same-day package deliveries by 2040, according to L.E.K. Consulting.

With such a long runway before 2040, of course, the exact numbers will depend on how companies strategize delivery systems under guidelines and restrictions down the road.

The natural question of whether future drones will move freight as well as people remains unanswerable for now, but today’s business leaders are greatly interested in the transport of their goods by autonomous technology.

Amazon as well as Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. have expressed an eagerness to use drones for large-scale delivery, according to a Bloomberg News story.

Drones can take off and land vertically, a key advantage for an industry that could be worth several billion dollars in a country like Australia, L.E.K. said. 

The L.E.K. report included challenges to be met, including whether money can be saved over using taxis or vans, as well as convincing a skeptical nation about these aircraft flying above cities and homes. 

Walmart, Amazon and UPS are testing drones and readying delivery operations, according to a USA Today opinion piece from a Mercatus Center at George Mason University report.

UPS and DroneUp used a vacant college campus in Virginia for simulating a local delivery system of COVID-19 supplies. After just two days, drones were able to make deliveries across the 55-acre campus every three minutes. 

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