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Switzerland to begin with postal drone delivery


Drone delivery service – this is no longer just an Amazon´s idea, even Swiss post is now embarking to deliver their packages by air. Few days ago, they started a test campaign in order to explore the possibilities of the Matternet One quadcopter. This vertical take-off and landing UAV should be integrated into Swiss delivery service and become a postman of the future. However, Swiss Post announced that widespread use of drone delivery in not likely to kick in for another five years. They emphasized the service is mentioned for service in special circumstances, like delivering in extremely bad weather, in mountain or remotely areas and similar cases. Just everywhere and everytime when conventional methods would be too difficult to be used and where drones could offer more efficient transport. No to mention safety or swiftness.

In the beginning of this year Swiss post teamed with Matternet company and Swiss World Cargo. Real flight test of drone delivery possibilities began on July 7th. Swiss WorldCargo is the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines, Matternet belongs among drone´s US manufacturers. Future applications of the drone delivery could be actually quite diverse – from fast and express delivery of various packages to delivery to peripheral and hard accessible areas. Nonetheless, there are still some serious requirements that has to be solved, untill the drone delivery services will fully enter commercial sphere and daily life. These are primarily technical limitations, such as flight time and battery endurance. Of course, law regulations are also still not much stabilized in many countries.

Matternet One is a small white quadcopter, designed for airborne transportation. It has a light construction and it is able to carry a cargo up tu one kilo over 10 kilometres per one battery charge. According to the company, centrally located payload is easy to load and unload. For Swiss Post drone delivery it is equipped with a yellow box with postal service logo. The UAV is capable of autonomous flight by following predefined and secured flight path. Matternet has also developed a special cloud software for this purpose. The system should guide the drone along a secure route at low altitude (50-100 meters), ensuring avoidance of obstacles, buildings, mountains and even restricted airspace. Well, it seems that in pretty close future we will be receiving our packages and letters from via unmanned airmail. Or maybe only in “special circumstances”, who knows. Anyway, it is quite clear that the drone postman doesn’t have to ring twice at all.