DroneUp, UPS testing coronavirus medical supply delivery

Coronavirus Pandemic Challenges Us All to Innovate Faster

DroneUp, UPS testing coronavirus medical supply delivery
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Medical professionals around the world are fighting bravely — often risking their own health — to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus and save countless lives. In fact, I have friends, nurses and doctors working around the clock, who continue to inspire me with their dedication and perseverance amid heartbreaking conditions.

Their war against the virus rages relentlessly as the number of infections threatens to overwhelm healthcare systems in many locations. With more than 2.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, hospitals are struggling to beat back this fast-moving pandemic.

But we will prevail. And when the dust settles, we will celebrate and honor the courageous doctors, nurses and thousands of medical support professionals who faced this grim chapter in human history without flinching.

We will be forever in their debt.

A different kind of hero

Meanwhile, the world looks to another breed of hero to provide the medical community with the tools and logistics support needed to be as effective as possible.

Experts in the healthcare industry and in government are calling for technological solutions that can speed the pace of testing and treatment for infected coronavirus patients. Some technology leaders see autonomous drones as a potentially valuable solution to transport medical supplies and lab specimens faster than ground vehicles.

UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) collaborated recently with two drone technology companies — DroneUp and Workhorse Group — and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) in tests to determine how unmanned aerial systems can assist medical professionals in their fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The test participants conducted exercises for three days on the vacant campus of St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Virginia. The facility provided a safe, complex community environment to test package delivery by drones in a variety of conditions.

“Some technology leaders see autonomous drones as a potentially valuable solution to transport medical supplies and lab specimens faster than ground vehicles.”

During the exercise, drone experts monitored flights and evaluated test results to better understand factors such as the number of deliveries possible, airspace and operator safety policies and operational capacities available through existing technologies and regulations.

The findings derived from these fast-paced simulations will go to the White House in a white paper detailing the commercial drone industry’s ability to provide small unmanned aerial systems to bolster the coronavirus response.

UPS Flight Forward and its partners in this endeavor aim to provide actionable insights, not just hypothetical data points.

Ready for service

Should the U.S. government call on the drone delivery industry to assist in the fight against coronavirus, as has happened in other nations, we will be ready.

Regardless, our learnings can advance the budding drone delivery industry and position us to offer better service to our healthcare customers while providing logistics support in the event of another large-scale crisis in the future.

As DroneUp CEO Tom Walker said: “It is incumbent upon our industry to conduct operationally-based exercises that produce factual data and lessons learned to ensure we can respond safely, effectively and efficiently when called upon. Data collected now will impact our capabilities beyond the COVID-19 outbreak we are currently facing.”

“UPS Flight Forward and its partners will detail the commercial drone industry’s ability to provide small unmanned aerial systems to bolster the coronavirus response.”

There’s no doubt we are living in tough times. But, as we’ve learned before and will learn again, challenging times are when we find our heroes.

It’s not just the medical professionals working under chaotic and hazardous conditions to save lives. We are seeing the same dedication behind the scenes where innovators are racing to develop their solutions and bring them to the public.

The examples are countless — from the scientists worldwide racing to find a coronavirus vaccine to the drone industry leaders putting their technology to the test in hopes of speeding up healthcare logistics.

The spirit of collaboration and technological innovation is alive and well. And that should give us hope. It is perhaps our most effective weapon against this unforgiving pandemic.

UPS will continue to innovate for those who need help the most — and we’ll do so with more speed, precision and purpose than ever before. We owe the coronavirus victims, as well as those working to cure them, nothing less.

We will deliver for them.

Источник: https://www.ups.com/us/es/services/knowledge-center/article.page?kid=art171a19adbef&articlesource=longitudes

UPS and Workhorse test drones to help COVID-19 response

DroneUp, UPS testing coronavirus medical supply delivery

The carrier and drone-maker are working with DroneUp and the Virginia Center For Innovative Technology to test how unmanned aerial systems can be used in the coronavirus response by speeding up testing and increasing social distancing.

As the world races to contain the COVID-19 virus and save lives, UPS and technology companies have a potential solution to increase testing and protect health care workers: autonomous drones.

Aerial drone companies DroneUp and Workhorse Group are working with UPS’s drone delivery subsidiary UPS Flight Forward and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology to see how unmanned aerial systems can help medical professionals stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The tests in Virginia earlier in April evaluated the commercial drone industry’s ability to use unmanned aircraft to assist the U.S. health care system during the novel Coronavirus crisis. UPS has found previous success using drones at health care facilities. For more than a year, UPS Flight Forward has been using drones to transport medical specimens at a North Carolina hospital.

“Drones can be an important way to deliver medical supplies while people stay home to adhere to our social distancing guidelines,” Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said on April 21. “Virginia is well-positioned to be a leader in the unmanned system industry, and we are pleased to be part of this initiative.” 

Aerial drones can avoid road traffic and also reduce the number of people who come in contact with the cargo, which in the case of COVID-19 means a lesser potential for exposure to the highly contagious virus. 

The COVID-19 related test exercises were held over three days earlier this month at the vacant St. Paul's College campus in Lawrenceville, Va. The facility, which closed in 2013, made for a safe, complex community environment to test package deliveries by drones under a variety of conditions, according to UPS. 

The exercises focused on delivery to residential and commercial areas with the aim of determining the following:

  • Safe operational capacities existing technology, policy, personnel and environmental restrictions;
  • Airspace de-confliction and operator safety policies necessary for peak use;
  • Processes, policies and training to pilot efficient, safe and effective delivery operations during both day and night;
  • Proposed policy changes that would allow more use of autonomous airborne advanced technologies.

“We’ve proven through ongoing commercial drone delivery programs that effective drone delivery of medical products is faster than conventional ground-based transportation,” Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer, said this week. “Drones offer a low-touch option for delivery of lab specimens and medical products that could make a significant impact in an urgent response application.”

Data collected during this “fast-paced simulation” — as UPS called it — will be used to determine how private-sector drone operators can effectively supplement emergency response and patient care. The findings and recommendations will be included in a report to the White House, where leaders are considering what role the blossoming drone industry could play in the coronavirus response.

“We’re proud to be able to help through the use of our drone technology and aerospace team in this crisis,” said 

Duane Hughes, the Workhorse Group CEO, noted that his company had made hundreds of autonomous drone deliveries in the National Airspace System over the last four years using its proprietary technology and electric delivery vehicles. “We have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits provided by a drone delivery when speed counts,” he said this week. “The people of Workhorse are ready to help through these trying times in any way we can.”

Virginia Center For Innovative Technology tested delivery drones at a closed college campus in April to see how multiple unmanned drones would operate in the same airspace.Photo: UPS

DroneUp provides end-to-end aerial data collection services for its drone clients and it also trains and deploys drone pilots for the commercial industries. Company CEO Tom Walker said that people have been asking how drones can help in a time of crisis. 

“Rather than speculate, it is incumbent upon our industry to conduct operationally-based exercises that produce factual data and lessons learned to ensure we can respond safely, effectively and efficiently when called upon,” the DroneUp CEO said. “Data collected now will impact our capabilities beyond the COVID-19 outbreak we are currently facing.”

Virginia’s nonprofit Center for Innovative Technology has been a driver of innovation and entrepreneurship in the commonwealth since 1985. The center also houses the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center at CIT to support this growing industry.

“CIT is committed to exploring innovative responses to the COVID-19 pandemic including emergency package delivery by drones,” said Ed Albrigo, CIT president and CEO. “We appreciate the willingness of DroneUp, UPS and Workhorse to be part of the solution.” 

Drone delivery is not new to Virginia, which was the site of the first consumer delivery by an unmanned Wing drone last year. Wing, which is an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary, transported packages from a pharmacy to a house in Christiansburg, Va, in October.

UPS launched its drone airline, Flight Forward, last fall after a successful pilot program of transporting medical specimen at a North Carolina hospital. UPS has been working on expanding its drone delivery services to other hospitals, universities and corporate campuses around the U.S. Other companies, including Amazon.com Inc.’s Prime Air, also are developing drone-delivery platforms.

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Sneak peek: ATA forms law enforcement advisory board, Teamsters provide 500 COVID-19 vaccines to port drivers in California, trucking celebrates National Puppy Day, and more.

As more Americans are vaccinated each day, the possibility of a “back to normal” life creeps closer, bringing peace of mind and hope to the community. The trucking industry prides itself on its focus on safety and its constant vigilance toward a better future. Here are five good things that happened in trucking this week. 

ATA forms law enforcement advisory board

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has formed a Law Enforcement Advisory Board—a new panel that will advise the ATA Federation on ways to grow and strengthen relationships between the trucking industry and law enforcement organizations across the country. The board is comprised of ATA members who have previous experience in federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as current and retired law enforcement officials who have contributed positively to the partnership between both groups.

“No two groups have a stronger and more consistent presence on our nation's highways than law enforcement officers and American truckers,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear.

“Therein lies a strategic opportunity for greater collaboration, increased communication, and new bonds.

The incredible depth and breadth of experience represented on this board will be an invaluable asset for our industry, the law enforcement community, and the safety of the motoring public a.”

The 22 members of the Law Enforcement Advisory Board will convene bi-monthly to identify areas of opportunity and provide recommendations on priority issues.

During its inaugural meeting, held virtually last week, the board identified primary issues it will focus on in the coming weeks and months, including combatting human trafficking; increasing truck parking capacity and ensuring driver safety at rest stops; commercial motor vehicle safety and security; and enhancing access to training for drivers and company safety personnel. 

The 22 Advisory Board Members are:

  • Derek Barrs, HNTB Corporation
  • Joe Allen Boyd, professional driver, Walmart Inc.
  • Rick Cates, Marsh USA Inc.
  • Tim Cardwell, National High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Assistance Center 
  • Butch Day, Yellow Corporation 
  • Jeff DeVere, DeVere Public Affairs and Consulting
  • Floyd Dixon, FedEx Freight
  • Fred Fakkema, Zonar Systems, Inc.
  • Jeff Ferber, ABF Freight System
  • Kent Grisham, Nebraska Trucking Association
  • Chris Harris, ABF Freight System
  • Parker Harrison, Old Dominion Freight Line
  • Jim Kochenderfer, Werner Enterprises 
  • Mike Martin, Old Dominion Freight Line 
  • John McKown, professional driver, UPS Freight
  • Ray Miller, McAnally Wilkins Insurance 
  • Dana Moore, Texas Trucking Association
  • Myron Rau, South Dakota Trucking Association
  • John Spiros, Roehl Transport
  • Jeffrey Tippit, City of La Porte Police Department 
  • Christopher Vinson, Midlothian Police Department 
  • Donnie Ware, ABF Freight System

Dot Foods donates supplies to Texas after winter storm

Dot Foods donated nearly 110,000 pounds of product to several nonprofit organizations that are providing relief to Texas residents. 

Some of the supply donations we made in the past few weeks include: 

  • 38,000 lbs. to West Virginia Baptist; the church sent the items to Houston
  • 37,000 lbs. to Catholic Charities in San Antonio
  • 20,000 lbs. to San Antonio Food Bank, a Feeding Texas organization
  • 13,000 lbs. to Reach Out America in Houston 

West Virginia Baptist received 38,000 pounds of food from Dot Foods and delivered it to residents of Houston.Photo: Dot Foods

“For the state, it’s been disaster on top of disaster. Texas has been hit hard by COVID-19, and many people were still recovering from Hurricane Harvey in 2017,” said Suzy Parn, the head of Dot’s corporate charitable program.

“I can’t help but think of California, Alabama, and Louisiana, which also experienced disasters alongside the pandemic last year.

We donated food and supplies to those states during that time, and now it’s time for us to do what we can for Texas.”

Dot Foods is now working with FEMA to provide hand sanitizer, face masks, and other essential items for relief. 

“People from all over the city came and lined up around the facility waiting to get food and water,” said Hope King from Reach Out America. “Many thanks for the wonderful shipment of food for the victims of the arctic winter blast humanitarian relief program.” 

Teamsters provide 500 COVID-19 vaccines to port drivers in California

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Ports Division provided 500 COVID-19 vaccines to port truck drivers on March 12 at Shippers Transport Express in Carson, Calif., along with Northeast Community Clinic.

Union and government officials attended the outdoor clinic for the port truck drivers, according to Press-Telegram, who the state considers essential workers because they are among those who ensure the supply chain operates smoothly.

Ron Herrera, Director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Ports Division, speaks during a press conference at an outdoor vaccine clinic where 500 COVID-19 vaccines were distributed to port truck drivers.Photo: Brittany Murray/Press Telegram/SCNG

According to Ron Herrera, director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Ports Division, coronavirus cases have cut into the workforce on the docks in recent months, leading port, union and terminal officials to push to vaccinate those workers quickly — so goods can keep flowing efficiently.

Speakers at the event urged trucking companies to follow the law by providing proper protective equipment and workplace safety measures.

Four-year-old befriends UPS driver; become delivery duo

Samuel Ray, a four-year-old boy from Wister, Okla. has already decided that he wants to be a UPS truck driver when he grows up.

UPS driver Matt Thomason has been delivering packages to Ray and his mom since he was six months old, according to 5 News Online, and the toddler is excited every time he sees him.

“Sometimes there’s screaming and excitement. He’ll usually chase after him,” Ray’s mom Nicole said.

Ray says he gets excited because he gets to see and play with his best friend, and that he loves to help his friend Matt deliver packages. The two deliver packages to a strip of businesses in downtown Poteau, Okla. 

Four-year-old Samuel Ray and UPS driver Matt Thomason.Photo: KFSM

“He plays with me when he comes in,” Ray said. “He’s my favorite UPS guy.”

Seeing Thomason has made Ray want to pursue a career as a UPS truck driver. He even has his own toy UPS truck and toy.

“It’s honoring you know…it’s humbling,” Thomason said.

Trucking celebrates National Puppy Day

“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog,” UPSers tweeted of M.K. Clinton words on National Puppy Day on March 23.

Dogs hold a special place in our hearts, at home and on the road. Trucking took to social media to celebrate the pals with four paws.  

Источник: https://www.fleetowner.com/covid-19-coverage/article/21129382/ups-and-workhorse-test-drones-to-help-covid19-response

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