In western society, Japan is known as the ultimate early adopter. Perhaps that because of its aging population and falling birth rates this will change in a few decades, but so far, this wisdom still rings true.
Today in Minamisoma City, Fukushima Prefecture, began the first trial of product delivery via drone in a city.
20 centimeters long and 15-centimeter high drone can carry up to 2 kilograms worth of product to your doorstep.
Yes, you are reading this correctly, pretty soon your Deliveroo, Ubereats or whatever you have ordered for this evening can probably be delivered by a robot (which means a lot of loss for the millennials doing a job on the side in this gig economy of the 21st century but that is another story altogether).
The trial is being undertaken by the companies Rakuten Inc and Lawson Inc and wants to bring daily necessities and food to residents who have a tough time getting around (seniors in other words).
It will be reviewed on a fortnight basis and adapted to customer complaints. If successful, Rakuten would like to roll out the program on a citywide basis by the spring of 2018.
The drone will unlikely be able to fly in weather conditions such as heavy rainfall and strong winds but thanks to the Wi-Fi connection and computer tracking for its steering program, deliveries will, in that case, be adapted and the customers informed of later distribution.
In the US, 7-Eleven started drone delivery experiments already last year (first order was a chicken sandwich, donuts, candy, Slurpees and hot coffee) but due to sufficient legal backing, it could not do a rollout.
Amazon meanwhile has had its first drone delivery in the UK countryside but also is being restrained to rollout further at this moment.