You may have already heard about Amazon dabbling with the idea of Drone parcel delivery and Google creating a fixed wing drone that lowers parcels on a tether without landing but DHL is actually the first to launch a commercial service offering with their “Parcel-copter” drone delivery service.
This new DHL service uses a quad-copter to deliver urgently needed items like medication to a small sandbar Island 12km off of the coast of Germany called “Juist”. It flies along its route without human intervention (although they monitor it closely) and maintains a maximum altitude of 50 metres so it doesn’t enter regulated airspace. It’s been designed to travel in wind and rain and when it finally lands, a DHL courier collects the parcels it carries to deliver them the final mile.
This step forwards realises the immediate potential drones can have on delivering urgent goods that would otherwise have to travel via conventional and slower methods (ferries and lorries). The next obstacle will require reform by the UK and USA aviation authorities as it is currently illegal for unmanned drones to fly in their airspace. If DHL, Amazon and Google do proceed to deliver in suburban areas they’ll have even more problems to overcome with theft and vandalism.
Is the future of parcel delivery remote controlled?
Read DHL’s official press release regarding Parcel Drone Delivery here