American delivery giant UPS on Tuesday launched the first authorized use of unmanned drones to transport packages to recipients.
The company said the shipment of medical samples at the WakeMed hospital campus in Raleigh, North Carolina was the first of “numerous planned daily revenue flights.”
UPS has teamed up with Matternet, which makes autonomous drones and already has operations in Switzerland, for the same-day delivery service, the company said in a statement.
The company called the inaugural flight “a major milestone for unmanned aviation in the United States.”
It will provide “the ability to avoid roadway delays, increase medical delivery efficiency, lower costs and improve the patient experience with potentially life-saving benefits,” the company added.
The “quadcopter” drones can carry medical payloads weight up to five pounds (2.3 kilograms) for distances up to 12.5 miles (20 kilometers).
Currently, the only option is through traditional courier service.
“Drone transport will improve speed of deliveries at a lower cost, enhance access to care and create healthier communities,” WakeMed President Donald Gintzig said.
The Federal Aviation Administration and North Carolina’s Department of Transportation both approved and oversee the drone service, following test flights last year.
Masks take center stage in presidential race as Biden slams Trump for ‘costing people’s lives’
In an interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden laid into President Donald Trump for his comments belittling his decision to wear a mask at the Memorial Day events at the beginning of the week.
"He's a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way," said Biden. He added that "This macho stuff ... It's costing people's lives."
Trump has frequently refused to don a mask while speaking to the media, even when he is in public places where masks are required.
“He’s a fool, an absolute fool to talk that way,” Biden to @DanaBashCNN about Trump belittling his wearing of a mask. “This macho stuff ... It’s costing people’s lives.”
Trump says he can ‘absolutely’ force governors to reopen churches if he decides to do so
At Tuesday's coronavirus press briefing, President Donald Trump was pressed on whether he really has the authority to force governors to allow houses of worship to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Can you explain what authority you had in mind when you said that you would do that?" asked a reporter.
The president emphasized that he does have the power — but did not elaborate on how specifically he would do so, and added that he doesn't think he will have to.
"I can absolutely do it if I want to," said Trump. "I don't think I'm going to have to, because it's starting to open up. We need our churches and our synagogues and our mosques. We want them open, churches, synagogues, mosques, and other — we want them open and we want them open as soon as possible."
Trump continues pushing conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough — immediately after reporter tells him about widower begging him to stop
At Tuesday's White House press briefing, President Donald Trump was asked by reporters if he was aware of the letter from the widower of deceased congressional aide Lori Klausutis, begging the president to stop promoting conspiracy theories that she had been murdered by former representative and MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.
The president replied, "Yeah I have." However, almost immediately after, he used the moment to continue pushing the conspiracy theory, adding, "As you know, there's no statute of limitations."
Asked if he's seen the distressed letter from the widower of Lori Klausutis about Trump turning her death into fodder, Trump says "yeah I have," then continues propagating his conspiracy nonsense, then says, "As you know, there's no statute of limitations."