E – commerce giants race for Drone Delivery Technology

Sep 08, 2019




Amazon, an online giant recently came in the news for asking Federal Aviation Administration to ease restrictions for its planned drone-based delivery services. Amazon announced in June 2019 that it would start delivering packages via drones to customers within months and its drones are able to deliver to customers within a 15-mile range within 30 minutes.

Walmart also looks very interested in delivering its products to the customer directly—not only through traditional means, but with unmanned drone delivery couriers.

According to the Financial Times, From Walmart filed for 97 new drone patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization from June 2018 to June 2019, while Amazon’s WIPO filings for drone technology only amounted to 54 during the same time period.

Following figure shows filling trends for both online giants.

Drone filling

Figure: Patents filling trends about Drone by Amazon and Walmart – Analysis on PCS (AI enabled Analytics tool from Dolcera)

Following figure shows the number of patents/applications both Amazon and Walmart have on Drone Delivery Technology.


Figure: Amazon and Walmart’s patents on Drones – Comparison on PCS (AI enabled Analytics tool from Dolcera)

With Amazon and Walmart increasingly applying for drone delivery technology, there are strong chances that such services are going to play a major role in online marketplace, probably much sooner than we expect.

Chinese businesses far outpace the US when it comes to drone patent filings, according to a report by BDO.


Figure: Geography based distribution of patents on Drones – Analysis on PCS (AI enabled Analytics tool from Dolcera)

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