China's Alibaba starts delivery service using drones
If you want to buy a special tea online and receive it immediately, there is now a really quick solution. China's Alibaba is implementing a new service to deliver even faster than next-day air. It is testing a drone delivery service, as you'll see in this video.
In the video, a woman purchases from Alibaba's Taobao site a package of brown sugar ginger tea that even comes with a nice mug. The package is carried by a drone that will fly over a landscape of buildings and busy traffic to get to the shopper's home.
We then see the woman enjoying a cup of hot ginger tea that is particularly beneficial to stomach cramps, according to the ad.
It looks easy, doesn't it? The ad says the service delivers in one hour. The video suggests that it takes only the time to boil the hot water for the tea package to arrive.
Of course there are a lot of details that we don't know yet. Alibaba isn't saying much other than that it is doing a test pilot project starting this month for 450 customers in 3 major cities: Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
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Amazon, the giant e-commerce company based in the U.S., was actually the first one to announce a drone delivery service a year ago. The service hasn't been implemented yet. There are also safety issues to work out as recently a private individual's drone crashed in the White House lawn. Amazon is apparently determined and has already started hiring engineers and other staff for its drone delivery service called Amazon Prime Air, according to Amazon.com.
What do you think? Technology wizards keep coming up with new ways to save time and enhance efficiency. Would you use a drone delivery service? Do you think you are for or against such a service?