Yamato tests delivery drone

A delivery drone developed by Yamato Holdings and Bell Helicopter Textron Inc has done its first successful flight in the suburbs of Fort Worth, Texas this week.

The delivery drone, dubbed Autonomous Post Transport 70 was tested on Monday. Yamato and Bell have indicated they plans to put it into commercial operation in Japan in the next couple of years before selling it globally.

The unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) took off vertically and flew horizontally around 50 metres off the ground for a few minutes before landing in the test. 

According to Bell the UAV can travel at 160kph and has a capacity of up to 32kg. It is 2.7 metres wide, 1.8 metres tall, and weighs around 160kg. It can travel up to 56km and can fly in most weather conditions.

“Our team has created innovative solutions with the potential to change how the market approaches civilian logistics,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO, Bell. “Together, we will continue refining technologies to produce an efficient and agile vehicle that operates safely in the ecosystem.”

“Having the success of the demonstration today, we shall accelerate our technical and service development to enter our innovative service by the early-2020s,” said Yutaka Nagao, Yamato’s President who attended the test.

The test “marked the start of a new logistics business model,” he said.

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