This isn’t the first drone delivery news out of China, but unlike InCake’s attempted drone cake delivery service in Shanghai, the SF Express operation has received the go-ahead from local police.
Because they travel by air, drones are an attractive option for delivering small packages in crowded urban areas with badly congested roads. The Dongguan metro area, with a population of almost 8 million and a strong, export-driven economy, is an ideal test site for such a program.
The drones themselves are octorotors (picture a cartoon drawing of a squashed spider) with eight limbs extending from a central body. According to local news sites, each drone can carry up to 6.6 pounds and fly at an elevation of about 330 feet. It’s unknown how far the battery-powered drone can fly.