Zipline is building upon its roster of customers that plan to use its Platform 2 technology, a critical development as drone operators seek to increase activity and improve unit economics for the emerging last-mile delivery method.
When Zipline announced the Platform 2 service in March, it said restaurant chain Sweetgreen, Michigan Medicine, MultiCare Health System, Intermountain Health and the government of Rwanda would be on board.
While the company’s Platform 1 service needs about two parking spots’ worth of space for deliveries, Platform 2 is more precise, making it more suited for home deliveries. In the Platform 2 delivery process, a drone reaches its destination and then hovers while an autonomous droid maneuvers down a tether, steers to its location and drops off the package.
Zipline is planning more than 10,000 test flights this year for Platform 2 and will deploy its first customer pilot after. Customers will be able to use the Platform 2 service as a hub and spoke model delivering within a 10-mile radius, or as a network in which drones can travel up to 24 miles each way from dock to dock, according to Zipline.
With a mix of customers committed to using its new service, Zipline is also making sure the delivery process fits their specific needs. It worked with Pagliacci Pizza to make a custom-designed pizza box allowing each droid to fit two 13-inch pizzas and side dishes for delivery throughout the Seattle area.
“We want to make sure that when people order from us, they get their food as quickly as possible and while it’s still hot,” said Matt Galvin, co-owner of Pagliacci, in a statement. “Zipline will allow us to deliver faster than ever before and will nicely complement our excellent driver team.”SupplyChain