Can Taobao's First Order of UAV Delivery Lead the Future Logistics Direction?


Taobao network for the first time to test the water UAV distribution so that many users excited. From February 4th to 6th, users in specific areas of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou will have the opportunity to experience this service after placing an order on the designated page of Taobao to purchase Jiang Tang black tea. A total of 450 people will be able to experience drone delivery. The first order in Beijing was completed on the morning of the 4th and took 37 minutes.
However, the reporter of the first financial daily learned from Taobao that the UAV distribution is only for an activity. The UAV is provided by Yuantong express. At present, Taobao has no follow-up commercialization plan for UAV distribution, and no special department has been set up to study this field.
On the morning of the 4th, the first Taobao drone order in Beijing was generated, which was brown sugar ginger tea worth 49 yuan. After the GPS navigation line was set up by the staff, the unmanned aerial vehicle loaded with the goods YTO-X650 took off from Yuantong's Tongzhou delivery point and arrived at the destination, Yunjing South Street, Liyuan, where Yuantong courier waited for the unmanned aerial vehicle to land. The whole process took 37 minutes.
According to reports, since the entire flight was less than 100 meters outside the Fifth Ring Road, there was no need to report to the Civil Aviation Administration for approval in advance.
Since the event offered free shipping, the buyer actually only paid for the goods. However, as for the distribution cost within 37 minutes, Yuantong and Taobao did not disclose to reporters. For the water test, Yuantong did not accept the reporter's interview request.
In the next two days, orders from Guangzhou and Shanghai will also be delivered by unmanned aerial vehicles. Shanghai's delivery points include Zhongrong Jasper Lantian Building, Times Finance Building, Bank of Shanghai Building, Transportation Finance Building and Bank of China Building. Guangzhou includes Pearl River Capital, Guanghong Tianqi, Poly Champagne, Sanyin Building, Ocean Building and surrounding areas in Tianhe District, which can be delivered within one hour.
Although it is only a propaganda activity, and Taobao also said that there is no follow-up plan for the time being, the move of the domestic e-commerce giant still has the meaning of a weathervane, leaving a lot of room for imagination for the outside world. Shunfeng Express has also tried UAV delivery service test before. Judging from the momentum of frequent capital favor of domestic UAV companies, this field has become a hot spot at present.
According to the public information of domestic drone manufacturer DJI Innovation, its sales in 2010 were only 3 million yuan. In 2012, this figure rose to 0.2 billion yuan, soared to 0.8 billion yuan in 2013, and is expected to double in 2014.
In terms of logistics, it has been more than a year since the international e-commerce giant Amazon PrimeAir proposed the drone delivery plan, and the company is actively promoting research on related businesses and technologies, allowing drones and delivery vehicles to partner to deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less, so as to promote the pace of commercialization. In addition, Google, Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies are also testing the application of UAVs.
At present, the UAV program can be applied to a wide range of applications, such as aerial photography, agriculture, real estate, fire protection, WiFi hotspots, line inspection, surveying and mapping, wildlife protection and so on. In contrast, the commercialization of drones in logistics and distribution still has a long way to go, and cost and supervision have become two major shackles.
Wang Xiaoxing, an analyst at Analysys International, told China Business Daily that from a scientific and technological point of view, drone distribution does represent a potential development direction of logistics in the future, which is also one of the reasons why e-commerce and logistics enterprises are actively experimenting. However, it is still difficult to mention commercialization, on the one hand, drones are not technically accurate, efficient and low-cost as required by commercialization; on the other hand, the right to speak of "whether you can fly" is not in the hands of express and e-commerce companies, and needs to be liberalized by the approval department.
In fact, even in the United States, where the drone project is developing more intensively, the application of e-commerce distribution has not been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Under Amazon's continuous efforts to communicate, the FAA has not let go. The latter currently permits the use of drones in two areas: crop growth monitoring and real estate companies taking pictures of houses. These two applications have shorter flight distances compared to distribution.
Not long ago, the FAA also authorized the use of commercial drones by British Petroleum (BP) in the open Alaska area of the United States to monitor oil rigs and pipelines for maintenance, which gave Amazon the hope of commercial licensing of drones.

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