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Workhorse introduced the Horsefly Autonomous Delivery Drone in June 2014. It is in the final stage of FAA Type Certification and due to Workhorse becoming a partner in the FAA Beyond program, could be approved sometime in Q3 for sale and commercial use.
UPS is awaiting final FAA approval later this year and already has the license to use it. UPS has been testing it for 5 years, it has made thousands of test deliveries. UPS released a video in 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx9_6OyjJrQ
UPS and Verizon used the latest version horsefly at CES 2021 in January workhorse.com/horsefly.html
It's fully autonomous, the driver loads the package into the drone from inside the van and goes on delivering packages along his route. The roof rolls back, the drone launches and delivers its package then catches back up to the truck and lands itself. The driver can completely skip going down a side road, into a culdesac, or down a long driveway. UPS estimates that if it saves just 1 mile per driver per day it would save them $50 million dollars per year.
Youtube has TV news stories going back to 2015 showing it launch from a truck, deliver a package, and return to the truck.
Here is a good video from 2018 showing the process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvkqc2bFj8I
During a recent Organ Transplant Delivery Simulation Workhorse Horsefly received a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability approval from the FAA. In doing so worked with what will become the Air Traffic Controller for Drones.
“ Airspace Link's AirHub™ solution played a key role in assisting the Workhorse Group to obtain a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability approval from the FAA for the transport of medical supplies using their small UAS, the Horsefly, across airport grounds. This approval required further justification with the FAA, a capability also supported by AirHub, given that the flight path was around the outside of the runway and taxi areas of the airport.”
Horsefly has already completed the required 45 PRS tests for the ability to fly over people.
“The validation of AVSS’s PRS product on the Horsefly allows Workhorse and its partner United Parcel Service (UPS) to advance the reality of economically viable, routine package delivery via drones. The Horsefly a custom-built, American-made drone designed for safety and efficiency, can fly autonomously and can undergo the rigors of day-to-day deliveries. Workhorse has developed electric delivery trucks that pair with the Horsefly, providing a take-off and landing pad on the roof with charging capabilities and a control center for the driver to program the drone’s delivery route.”
As of May 10 Workhorse had $205 million cash on hand and actual purchase orders for over 8,000 C-Series vans for well over $600 million dollars including 950 to UPS who helped design them.
No other publicly traded commercial EV company has over $600 million in orders for their vehicles.
Workhorse also has more Electric Delivery Vans on American roads than any other company. Their customers (UPS, FedEx Express, DHL, Ryder, etc) have about 9 million miles on them.
Workhorse has or will soon deliver Customer Requested Refrigerated EV prototypes to customers for pilot programs. First to Market Refrigerated EVs could be bigger than USPS over 10 year
To address production: from the last earnings call... production the last 3 quarters was limited to the number of vans that their old battery supplier Enerdel could deliver batteries for.
Workhorse got a new battery supplier and built 32 vans in April alone. Somewhere around 100 in Q2 give or take a handful. With their new battery supplier ( same batteries and manufacturer that Tesla is using) their "production problem" is over. They have entered the exponential production increase phase. 100 in Q2, 300 in Q3 and 600 in Q4. and ramping from there.
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