Switzerland’s postal service has begun testing autonomous flying drones for parcel delivery. Real-world use could come within five to ten years. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Swiss Post, in collaboration with Swiss WorldCargo (the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines) and Matternet (a drone manufacturer from California), has started testing unmanned flying drones for logistical purposes.
The aim of the tests is to develop and pinpoint the technical possibilities that the use of flying drones could offer.
At the moment, real-world implementation of autonomous drones includes express delivery of goods in areas cut off by unfavourable weather or the delivery of urgent consignments like laboratory tests.
Swiss Post is testing the Matternet ONE model, designed to transport small loads weighing up to one kilogram for more than ten kilometres. These drones can fly autonomously, following predefined and secure flight paths.
Before drones can be used for commercial use, a few hurdles need to be overcome. These include the regulatory framework and short battery life.