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Courtesy of UPS

File this under a growing list of circumstances in which drones might one day be able to deliver packages. UPS tested a delivery Monday where a drone was launched from a delivery truck. The company says that the device would be used to aid drivers, not replace them on their routes.

"It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery." — UPS SVP of Global Engineering and Sustainability Mark Wallace

How it works: A driver puts the package into a cage attached to the drone without leaving the truck. The aircraft then takes off from the truck and heads for its destination. It comes back to the truck once the product is delivered.

Broader context:

The company has previously tested drones to make deliveries to remote areas. But it says this is the first test that could presage the use of the vehicles to make "non-urgent residential deliveries" in "day-to-day operation." UPS is not the only company moving towards delivery-by-drone — with Amazon being a major proponent of the idea.

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