DHL to trial urban drone deliveries

International carrier DHL has announced it is the first parcel delivery company in the world to directly integrate a drone into its delivery chain.

The ‘Parcelcopter’ delivery drone was originally tested in 2016 in a three month trial. The drone made full autonomous deliveries to mountain communities in the Bavarian Alps.

The drone is a Parcelcopter 3 prototype that takes off and lands from a fully automated loading and loading station called the Parcelcopter Skyport. Over the last few years the aircraft have proven themselves to the point that DHL are now planning on using the drones for deliveries into urban areas as well as remote communities. New tests are to be announced soon.

As Jürgen Gerdes, management board member for post and e-commerce at DHL, commented, “We are more than convinced that the Parcelcopter has allowed us to create real added value in the field of logistics. In future, this could take the shape of deliveries of emergency medical supplies or deliveries to regions in challenging geographical locations. The Parcelcopter arguably allows us to offer people in such areas a new kind of access to the flexible and, most importantly, rapid dispatch and delivery of goods.”

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