Mar 17, 2020|

World Economic Forum Highlights JD’s Use of Drones in COVID-19 Fight


by Ella Kidron

An article published by the World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog featured JD’s use of drones in the COVID-19 fight. The article, “3 ways China is using drones to fight coronavirus,” focuses on how China has been piloting ways to incorporate drones into the response to the virus. It also mentions that these efforts may serve as a model for other countries.

The article mentions JD’s use of drones to address delivery challenges to isolated areas during the epidemic period. It writes, “With the support of the local government, e-commerce company JD deployed its drone team. That team quickly conducted ground surveys, designed flight corridors, requested airspace access permission and conducted final flight tests. In just a few days, several drone delivery corridors were put in place replacing hours-long drives with a 2 km flight that could be completed in just 10 minutes.”

JD opened a drone route to Baiyang Lake in Hebei province during the coronavirus period, completing the first delivery on Feb. 7th. Previously, couriers would deliver packages to the village by boat, but this route was temporarily suspended due to the virus. Without drones it would have required couriers to detour over 100 km to deliver via land-based routes. With JD’s drone program, the drones drop parcels at a fixed point. In this case, customers were able to pick them up without human-to-human contact, better protecting both customers and JD couriers.

JD has also used drones to spray disinfectant, helping strengthen protective measures against the coronavirus. With a flight radius of 5km, using drones enables the city of Ordos, Inner Mongolia to cover a wider and more thorough area than they would be able to cover with human personnel, in a shorter period of time.