Zipline, operators of the world’s only drone delivery system at national scale to send urgent medicines and biological materials needed for medical facilities including blood and vaccines, was featured in a special report covering unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in The Economist. The article, published on October 23rd, discusses the realities of drone logistics and the surprising applications of UAVs across industries including F&B. The challenges of vertical versus horizontal flight technologies are considered with Zipline’s innovative catapult launch solution highlighted. The catapult launch allows Zipline to completely forgo aeronautical challenges faced by other enterprises in the UAV space.
It continues on to discuss that while many companies are still in beta, Zipline’s operations are fully up and running, adding that “its drones are now in regular use delivering blood for transfusion to rural clinics.” Partnering with the government of Rwanda, Zipline Muhanga serves 21 hospitals across western Rwanda, providing instant access to lifesaving blood products for 8 million Rwandans since October 2016. The company boasts a daily capacity of 500 deliveries per day and all weather performance, with an average fulfillment time of 30 minutes or less.
Zipline was also featured in the MIT Technology Review for its latest announcement around advancements in its technology. The company’s CEO, Keller Rinaudo, is quoted in the article explaining that they have proof of concept and real-world case studies: “We’ve shown that this technology can save lives abroad; now we’re going to show that it can save lives in the US too.”