What's next for drone deliveries in the GTA?
Are the days of the delivery guy numbered?
Even as services like Uber Eats explode in popularity, there's an entire industry waiting in the wings to change the game:
The robots are coming.
We know its not a matter of if, but when drones will be a critical part of putting products in the hands of consumers.
On-demand deliveries will soon no longer require someone to drive a vehicle or pedal a bike.
There's a company in Vaughan that's on the cutting edge of that transportation future.
Drone Delivery Canada has a state-of-the-art control centre based at its Vaughan headquarters, where operators work around the clock to monitor the company's fleet of delivery drones.
The company provides solutions that can be used to provide automated alternatives to conventional shipping.
Drone Delivery Canada VP Michael Zahra says most of the company's clients are involved in business-to-business shipments, but the goal is to expand that focus to home deliveries, when the market conditions allow.
He predicts the logistics sector in this country will take a slow and steady shift toward using airborne drones and that the horizon could be as soon as a year from now.
"With the technology, we could do it tomorrow," Zahra says, "but the regulations don't really allow for that."
Zahra says Federal laws mean that drones cannot be flown over densely-populated areas, which make them difficult to deploy in the Greater Toronto Area.
He's confident, though, that the Federal regulators will continue to relax regulation surrounding unmanned airborne vehicles so that they can be more widely used, including for direct-to-door deliveries.