DPDHL drone tests

German and international logistics company Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL) is taking part in a joint research project that amongst other things is to look at using drones for parcel deliveries.

DPDHL will be working with several other partners including DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, Deutsche Telekom and RWTH Aachen University.

The DPDHL research project will assess the drones’ suitability for delivering parcels in urban areas. Additionally it will examine whether Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network can be used to connect drones to the mobile internet around Germany.

The parcel tests will be conducted using the DHL Parcelcopter.

“We are more than convinced that the Parcelcopter has allowed us to create real added value in the field of logistics and offer people a new kind of access to the flexible and, most importantly, rapid dispatch and delivery of goods,” said Jürgen Gerdes, Management Board Member for Post – eCommerce – Parcel at DPDHL Group.

According to a statement issued by DPDHL: “As part of the research project, which is scheduled to begin in 2017, three different uses of UAS will be examined: fire-fighting, agriculture and logistics. For example, researchers will investigate if drones can be sent to fires at the same time as other fire-fighting vehicles to provide aerial photos even before fire-fighters arrive on location. The established working relationship in research with the team from the RWTH Aachen University (Faculty and Institute of Flight System Dynamics) will continue.”

Where until recently they were somewhat derided as a parcel delivery system by industry observers, the delivery industry itself seems to be pursuing them as a concept very seriously. Regulatory reform is being enacted and the robotics systems to make them possible is receiving millions in investment around the world. Nothing happens very quickly but might we see drones dropping Amazon parcels in a decade? That cannot be dismissed…

 
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