GS Caltex to take gas station drone delivery hub dream to CES 2021

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GS Caltex to take gas station drone delivery hub dream to CES 2021

A screenshot of the video GS Caltex will share at the CES 2021 trade show. [GS CALTEX]

A screenshot of the video GS Caltex will share at the CES 2021 trade show. [GS CALTEX]

 
GS Caltex will introduce its plan to operate a drone delivery service using its gas stations at the upcoming CES 2021 trade show, the company said Wednesday.
 
This would be the first time the oil refiner has taken part in the annual event, the biggest trade show in the IT industry, although this year's event will be held online due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Instead, participating companies will introduce products and meet potential clients virtually. GS Caltex said its presentations at CES will be focused on the future of gas stations.  
 
In line with a global push to reduce use of combustible fuel, GS Caltex has been developing new ways to make use of its existing brick-and-mortar assets. One way the company is developing is to make them into regional hubs for drone delivery.
 
The oil refiner’s main reason for participating in CES this year is to search for partners it can work with on the initiative.
 
A government partner in developing businesses for drone delivery, GS Caltex held a demonstration in June last year, where a drone flew 800 meters (2,625 feet) to deliver purchases from a GS25 convenience store to an elementary school in Jeju Island.
 
Four months later, it held another demonstration which showed the drone flying 900 meters across water and passing a parcel to a wheeled robot on the ground, which delivered it to the final destination.
 
“If the technology matures enough to a point where drones are capable of reaching rural areas like mountainous regions, drone delivery can actually create business opportunities fit for Korea’s geology,” GS Caltex said in a statement.  
 
“Our presentation is aimed to show global firms that drone delivery is a potential opportunity in Korea.”
 
The company will also introduce plans to transform gas stations as mobility and logistics hubs, where the brick-and-mortar operations will function as charging stations for electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles and a stopping point for car-sharing services and drones.
 
The CES 2021 trade show this year will run from Jan. 11 through 14.
 
BY SONG KYOUNG-SON   [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]
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