UPS helps in Rwanda – level 3

17-05-2016 07:00

They already deliver packages, big and small, all over the world but soon UPS will deliver blood, and they’ll do it by drone.

The company has announced it’s backing a start-up called Zipline International that will deliver blood and vaccines to transfusion centres in Rwanda from this summer. Around half of all blood transfusions in that country go to mothers haemorrhaging after giving birth, 30% to children suffering from malaria-induced anaemia. So getting blood to where it’s needed quickly is very important, and drones can make those deliveries 20 times faster than a motorcycle.

“Lock it in place and it’s ready for delivery.”

But the project is not entirely altruistic. The deliveries will help UPS and Zipline to test drone delivery technology, which could be used to deliver packages to your doorstep in the future.

“I actually think that one of the best ways that we can work together with the FAA to help this technology take off in the U.S. is by operating in a country where we can basically serve a very clear need and get tens of thousands of hours of safe flight data because I think if we can provide that to the FAA that will actually accelerate the process and we can actually implement this kind of technology here in this country.”

In the short term, UPS will focus on humanitarian projects in places like Rwanda, but this project does give some idea of what the future may hold.

Difficult words: announce (to say something officially), haemorrhage (to lose blood quickly), –induced (caused by), anaemia (a medical condition when you do not have enough red  blood cells), entirely (completely), altruistic (unselfish; helping others), FAA (the Federal Aviation Administration – an organisation in the USA about flight).



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