Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a delivery drone!

Foley enters into agreement for drone delivery testing

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 6/9/20

FOLEY - The City of Foley and Deuce Drone LLC have entered into an agreement to allow for drone delivery testing to commence within city limits. Testing is scheduled to begin approximately mid-June, …

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Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no, it’s a delivery drone!

Foley enters into agreement for drone delivery testing

Posted

FOLEY - The City of Foley and Deuce Drone LLC have entered into an agreement to allow for drone delivery testing to commence within city limits. Testing is scheduled to begin approximately mid-June, and will continue throughout the summer and fall seasons. Potential times of services during the testing phase include deliveries around 3 - 5 p.m. or 5 - 7 p.m. Initial testing will be restricted to one to five drones max.

During the testing phase, Deuce Drones LLC will be working with participating tenants within Foley Square Shopping Center, the point where the drones will depart. The drones then fly directly to the customer’s home with no stops in between. Total weight of drone plus cargo cannot exceed 55 pounds, with each drone weighing around ten to 12 pounds. Drones can fly in a slight rain, but deliveries will halt during severe thunderstorms until the weather clears.

“Drones will be automated in that they will fly by themselves, but they will be observed and monitored and maintained by FAA qualified remote pilots,” said Rhett Ross with Deuce Drone LLC. “The drones will have sensing and avoidance capability and their automated systems will maintain appropriate separation from any other vehicle in the air. The pilot monitoring it has full override capability so if they see the drone is not operating correctly around an obstacle they will take control and avoid any bad outcome.”

Deuce Drones LLC has developed apps and hardware to interact with stores and customers to develop this unique delivery service. Similar to other delivery apps, customers can simply download the app from Deuce Drones LLC and then begin placing orders at participating locations within the city.

When an order is placed, the app will alert the store with approximate time that the drone will be ready for liftoff, so cold or hot items can be packaged in a timely manner. Customers will then be notified of an approximate arrival time so they will be prepared to retrieve the items from the landing zone upon arrival.

But where will the drone land? That’s up to the customer.

“When you sign up through the app, we will ask you for a recommended landing area,” said Ross. “Then you have the ability to say the back part of your home has no trees, or you can say the driveway is the best place. The other thing we’re doing as part of our business model is when you sign up you will receive from us a mat that has your special customer code on it, and whenever you order you can lay it out, or you can leave it out if you want, but that tells the drone exactly where to land on your property.”

“It’s going to be very interesting to see how this develops,” said councilmember Ralph Hellmich. “It’s nice for our citizens to have the opportunity for something that’s fairly leading edge, we don’t have to wait until the other states develop it. I think it’s pretty cool that Deuce Drones is testing this service here.”

To learn more about Deuce Drones LLC, visit www.deucedrone.com.