A San Francisco-based company has beaten Amazon to the punch, as it is planning to deliver drugstore items via unmanned aerial systems (UAS) this year.
According to the company's website, QuiQui – pronounced ‘quicky’ – has been developing the necessary technology and logistics for two years in the hope that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) would publish regulations for commercial UAS operations.
The company is now looking to take advantage of the recent court ruling that blurs the FAA's power to enforce drone regulations. The FAA has appealed the decision and notes that the action stays the ruling until further judgment.
QuiQui, meanwhile, is offering a beta invitation for UAS delivery services on its website. The company reports that the operation will be initially limited to the Mission District in San Francisco, citing that the neighborhood's lack of tall buildings and flat landscape eliminate some of the complications involved in aerial mapping.
The drone delivery service, QuiQui states on its website, will be provided around the clock for one dollar, excluding the cost of the deliverables, and most orders can be dropped off in less than 15 minutes. In addition, the UAS will fly below 500 feet and far from airports.
The company notes that it chose drugstore goods because it is not yet commercially viable to transport larger items. QuiQui is also trying to make arrangements with local pharmacies to enable prescription deliveries.