Beating Amazon to the punch: Zipline launches drone to deliver medical supplies at 79 mph

Zipline, a startup based in California that focuses on delivering medical supplies via drone, created a new drone that can travel up to 79 mph and carry 3.85 pounds of cargo, reports CNBC.

Established in 2011, the California-based startup beat Amazon, Fed-Ex and UPS to the punch when it established drone-based logistics for delivering medical supplies in 2016.

The startup initially focused on delivering life-saving medical supplies, such as blood, to rural areas in Rwanda. However, Zipline plans to expand into more markets this year — including the U.S.

Zipline investor and former aerodynamics engineer Paul Willard told CNBC the startup's new drone — dubbed Zip 2 — can be scaled globally because of its speed and battery life. 

Zipline will begin making medical supply deliveries in the U.S. later this year as part of a Federal Aviation Administration pilot program. Once the company establishes a service area in the U.S. for its drones, it would be able to make deliveries within 30 minutes to people in its service area.

A service area would be 99 miles in diameter and would encompass a population of around 10 million people, according to CNBC

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