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Chinese retailer tests delivery drones in countryside

6/10/2016, Milan Šurkala
Delivery drones are the future of e-shops. Chinese retailer JD.com is already testing them in rural areas of China where are huge problems to get packages into desired destinations through winding roads.
Delivery drones are a big topic nowadays. Amazon wants to use them but FAA is still trying to solve the legal issues and set strict rules that should ensure higher safety of this mean of transportation. In a meantime, Chinese retailer JD.com is already testing the delivery drones in rural areas of China near Suqian, Jiangsu province. Chinese rural population is enormously big but the connection with the world is still insufficient. Many villages are connected with winding roads that are difficult to drive through with a truck. Therefore, JD.com is going to use drones which should not have any problem. These areas are relativelly free from obstacles.
JD.com drone
In a comparison with another delivery drone attempts, this one is not going to serve the customers directly but it should serve local retailers and delivery agents. They will take care of the final delivery in the village. Although these villiages are hard to access, they are usually relatively close to bigger warehouses. Therefore, the 12-miles (19km) range is mostly enough. The drone can carry up to 33 pounds (15 kg). Because of that, the range of stuff that can be carried by these drones is rather limited. Larger and heavier goods still need to be brought by trucks.