Author Topic: Drone delivery hype  (Read 4953 times)

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Offline PatrickG

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #60 on: June 13, 2019, 04:24:21 PM »
..
BTW, on my way here I spent the night in Seattle and realized I had forgotten my iPad charger. Apple sent it to me by courier. Two-hour delivery. No drone needed. Okay, so 30 minutes is faster, but it will be a while before they get permission to run automated delivery drones in a big city.

Domino’s can deliver a pizza in 30 minutes, rain or shine, to any home or apartment, without weight limit and in most of the (sub)urban USA. That just requires a kid in a beat-up car or on a scooter. It does not require a fragile drone infrastructure with dense network airport-warehouses. If there were truly a need for 30-minute delivery of dog food, it can be done much more economical without drones.


Offline stands2reason

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #61 on: June 13, 2019, 06:44:05 PM »
Domino’s can deliver a pizza in 30 minutes, rain or shine, to any home or apartment, without weight limit and in most of the (sub)urban USA. That just requires a kid in a beat-up car or on a scooter. It does not require a fragile drone infrastructure with dense network airport-warehouses. If there were truly a need for 30-minute delivery of dog food, it can be done much more economical without drones.

Except that warehouses are typically quite a bit farther on average than your nearest pizza place. If you were talking about a 30 min drive each way for a delivery person (i.e. an Uber even one way from warehouse to residence), it would cost a lot more than the delivery fee on a pizza.

Still though, if you were talking about hourly or bihourly instead with batching, it would basically work the same as a parcel service, but delivering small orders more regularly.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #62 on: June 13, 2019, 10:29:17 PM »
Yeah, an Amazon warehouse is a lot more expensive to set up and operate than a pizza parlor. The latter is making one item, on which they put your choice of a set, small number of toppings. The warehouse needs a stock of thousands of items. The result is that there will almost certainly be a pizza parlor closer to you than an Amazon warehouse. So while nearly anybody in the U.S. can get a pizza delivered in half an hour, maybe 0.00007% of the population will be able to get an Amazon drone delivery once the program is fully built out.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #63 on: June 14, 2019, 12:48:19 AM »
Yeah, an Amazon warehouse is a lot more expensive to set up and operate than a pizza parlor. The latter is making one item, on which they put your choice of a set, small number of toppings. The warehouse needs a stock of thousands of items. The result is that there will almost certainly be a pizza parlor closer to you than an Amazon warehouse. So while nearly anybody in the U.S. can get a pizza delivered in half an hour, maybe 0.00007% of the population will be able to get an Amazon drone delivery once the program is fully built out.

Your figure has to be orders of magnitude off, Daniel.  You could probably build 10 carefully-placed warehouses in the US that would have 25 million people within half an hour’s drone flight.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2019, 10:45:23 AM »
I understand that Amazon (and maybe other companies) have been building warehouses right in the downtown core of many cities, rather than on the outskirts. They're doing this to be able to make those same-day to same-hour deliveries.
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Offline daniel1948

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2019, 10:50:32 AM »
Yeah, an Amazon warehouse is a lot more expensive to set up and operate than a pizza parlor. The latter is making one item, on which they put your choice of a set, small number of toppings. The warehouse needs a stock of thousands of items. The result is that there will almost certainly be a pizza parlor closer to you than an Amazon warehouse. So while nearly anybody in the U.S. can get a pizza delivered in half an hour, maybe 0.00007% of the population will be able to get an Amazon drone delivery once the program is fully built out.

Your figure has to be orders of magnitude off, Daniel.  You could probably build 10 carefully-placed warehouses in the US that would have 25 million people within half an hour’s drone flight.

I thought it would be obvious that I was being hyperbolic.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #66 on: June 14, 2019, 01:37:59 PM »
If we have fewer white vans with people reading the GPS instead of watching for traffic I'm good with the whole system.
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Offline PatrickG

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #67 on: June 14, 2019, 02:14:35 PM »
If we have fewer white vans with people reading the GPS instead of watching for traffic I'm good with the whole system.
You have a point. But to take a cue from your screen name: I’m not good with noisy drones overhead transporting dog food to my neighbors.  It is all a trade-off...

It is funny that the “cool factor” of drone delivery makes even skeptics resort to motivated reasoning that make it seem reasonable. All my life I dreamt abound Christmas present delivery by a model train. It is cool and it can be made to work, but it is might expensive and mighty impractical. 

Offline 2397

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #68 on: June 14, 2019, 09:42:37 PM »
Technology should be making land vehicles safer as well, so it's not about future drones vs. current cars and trucks.

Once it's all self-driving, maybe the vans can park next to your building, then send out a small robot with your items to go up the elevator and all that.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #69 on: June 15, 2019, 01:42:25 PM »
Drone delivery is a cool idea. It's just not practical or economical. Unless your kid really needs that pair of athletic shoes in time for the game in half an hour, and you happen to live somewhere drones can operate safely and you're within a couple of miles of a fulfillment center.
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Offline PatrickG

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #70 on: June 15, 2019, 03:03:06 PM »
Drone delivery is a cool idea. It's just not practical or economical. Unless your kid really needs that pair of athletic shoes in time for the game in half an hour, and you happen to live somewhere drones can operate safely and you're within a couple of miles of a fulfillment center.
...and the fulfillment center in large enough to have exactly the right brand, size and color of the athletic shoe in stock, and you are willing to pay the $75 express delivery fee, and the weather is good, and there are not power wires over your garden...

Agreed.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #71 on: June 16, 2019, 09:09:36 AM »
This level of change needs to be viewed through the lense of how it will impact climate change too in my opinion.
A few drones here and there? Not great, but surely a blip overall.
A massive infrastructure built to facilitate such a non essential service with a view to further and further roll out?
Personally I think it goes against any real plans we could put in place to reduce carbon emissions. To allow a private company to create such infrastructure (thus having a monopoly on the system in the unlikely event that it is successful) is also a really bad idea.

Offline daniel1948

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #72 on: June 16, 2019, 01:04:58 PM »
This level of change needs to be viewed through the lense of how it will impact climate change too in my opinion.
A few drones here and there? Not great, but surely a blip overall.
A massive infrastructure built to facilitate such a non essential service with a view to further and further roll out?
Personally I think it goes against any real plans we could put in place to reduce carbon emissions. To allow a private company to create such infrastructure (thus having a monopoly on the system in the unlikely event that it is successful) is also a really bad idea.

Right now we have courier services that use cars and motorbikes. If those are replaced with drones, would the carbon impact be increased? I don't think this is a drone issue. I think it's an issue of human economic activity in general and where we get our energy.

Could drones compete with courier services by eliminating the need for a paid driver? Maybe, for small enough items. Maybe for pizza delivery, the one market where people actually pay for fast delivery in large enough numbers to justify the investment in hardware. But you're still going to need drivers for destinations the drone cannot get to.
Daniel
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #73 on: June 16, 2019, 03:49:52 PM »
This level of change needs to be viewed through the lense of how it will impact climate change too in my opinion.
A few drones here and there? Not great, but surely a blip overall.
A massive infrastructure built to facilitate such a non essential service with a view to further and further roll out?
Personally I think it goes against any real plans we could put in place to reduce carbon emissions. To allow a private company to create such infrastructure (thus having a monopoly on the system in the unlikely event that it is successful) is also a really bad idea.

Right now we have courier services that use cars and motorbikes. If those are replaced with drones, would the carbon impact be increased? I don't think this is a drone issue. I think it's an issue of human economic activity in general and where we get our energy.

Could drones compete with courier services by eliminating the need for a paid driver? Maybe, for small enough items. Maybe for pizza delivery, the one market where people actually pay for fast delivery in large enough numbers to justify the investment in hardware. But you're still going to need drivers for destinations the drone cannot get to.
How will it ever be more energy efficient to lift the entire weight of an object and move it across distance vs moving multiple objects on wheels?
We are already moving toward driverless delivery vehicles so I cant see that increasing or decreasing the number of vehicles required to get goods from A to B.

Even if drones get adopted for luxury parcel delivery, there will still be a requirement for wheeled vehicle delivery so you will only increase the amount of energy consuming vehicles being used to deliver goods.

And again, there is the issue of private monopoly of this stuff should it ever be as successful as people wish it to be.

Offline John Albert

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Re: Drone delivery hype
« Reply #74 on: June 16, 2019, 04:02:07 PM »
I doubt Amazon will actually implement a drone delivery service. There are so many more reasonable options, the practicality of such a plan falls apart on the slightest inspection.

Publicly hinting at it is clearly a brilliant marketing gimmick though.

 

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