China’s second largest online retailer JD.com revealed details about the two delivery drones it is developing at CES Asia in Shanghai on Wednesday.
One of the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is a vertical take-off and landing UAV with fixed wings, and the other has three axes and six rotors. According to JD.com’s introduction, the UAV with the vertical take-off and landing system has better environmental adaptability as well as longer flying time and distance. Meanwhile, the 3-axis UAV not only has a lightweight body, but is also faster and has a greater loading capacity.
JD.com’s CEO Richard Liu said in an earlier interview that the company will use drones emblazoned with its logo to carry small packages to customers in China’s rural areas, which are difficult for delivery workers to reach. The drone delivery services will improve the efficiency of distribution, saving labor costs while providing a faster shopping experience to customers.
Unlike Alibaba, which works with a large network of delivery providers, JD.com has built its own logistics network with dozens of warehouses, thousands of local delivery and pickup stations, and tens of thousands of delivery staff.
According to JD.com’s plan, the drone delivery services will not deliver packages directly to customers but will instead help transport bundles of items from its distribution stations to 150,000 representatives across rural China who will then deliver them to customers.
E-commerce giant Amazon is the first company in the world to make deliveries using drones. At present, more and more Chinese enterprises are turning their attention to drone delivery. In 2015, Chinese delivery giant SF Express began to provide drone delivery services for remote villages in the country’s Pearl River Delta region, making 500 flights every day.
(Top photo from finance.sina.com.cn)