Delivery company UPS has successfully completed a test with a specially-designed electric truck whose roof slides open to reveal an autonomous octocopter drone.
The driver loads a package into a cage beneath the drone, the drone grabs the package, then flies it over to its destination.
The drone is no replacement for the driver, but is meant to increase the driver’s efficiency on sprawling rural routes. For instance, imagine if the driver needs to hit three addresses that are miles apart in a triangular formation. The driver reaches point A to make the delivery by hand, and deploys the drone to deliver to point B. The driver then heads for point C, and the drone catches up with the truck on the way and docks itself. The driver has saved themself from having to drive two sides of that triangle.