Amazon is abandoning drones for taxis?
Amazon has been testing parcel delivery by taxi, in another effort to figure out how to make same-day delivery workable, the Wall Street Journal reported.
This fall’s tests in San Francisco and Los Angeles used the Flywheel mobile app, which competes with Uber and Lyft. Amazon used the app to call taxis at small distribution centers, then loaded taxis with up to 10 packages destined for a single zip code, paying around $ 5 per package for delivery within an hour. , according to anonymous sources familiar with the operation.
As with its recent grocery delivery tests using the U.S. Postal Service, taxi deliveries were typically made early in the morning, when taxis had lower fares and were less likely to be noticed by customers and passengers. competitors.
Using taxis as delivery vehicles is not a new idea, the Journal reported: the German taxi app mytaxi has made deliveries for European retailers and reportedly intends to expand the service to the United States. United. Macy’s and other traditional retailers use startups. to deliver from their stores using fleets of professional couriers and participatory drivers.
But the secret to making same-day delivery profitable – and popular – remains elusive. Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told the Journal that same day remains a niche service for most Americans, adding: “The reality is that people are generally not willing to pay enough for the service for that it is worth it for these companies “.
Mulpuru said Amazon could develop a “same-day delivery algorithm,” software designed to rate a variety of delivery services at any time, depending on which is the fastest and the cheapest, notes the article.