JD’s Drone Debut in Hebei During Coronavirus Period
By Ling Cao
On Feb. 7th, JD.com completed its first delivery via drone to Baiyang Lake in Hebei province. JD will continue to operate this route during the coronavirus period.
It took the drone just a few minutes to fly about 2 km from Xidi dock at Baiyang Lake over the lake to a village on the other side of the lake. Previously, JD couriers would deliver packages to the village by boat. With this route temporarily suspended because of the coronavirus, couriers would need to detour over 100 km to deliver to this village via land-based routes. The drone dropped the parcels at a fixed point in the village, where customers picked them up without human-to-human contact, better protecting both customers and JD couriers.
Hang Ba, head of JD’s drone program, said, “JD.com has leveraged automation to improve efficiency and convenience for last mile delivery. Customers here buy snacks, electronics and daily necessities – all of which can be delivered by drone. We are happy to see the unique value our drone can deliver during this special time.”
JD.com plans to launch drone delivery in other cities, such as Hohhot, Jilin, etc., to address challenges presented by the coronavirus. Last week, JD’s robot delivered its first order in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic.
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