Posten has begun trialing drone delivery of water samples in Norway.
Developed by startup Aviant, the electric drones have a wingspan of 2.5m, a cruising speed of 85km/h and a load capacity of 3kg. The trial drones will fly from Snåsa to Namsos, a 51km stretch that was previously driven by car and lorry. Therefore, the trial is expected to cut down the company’s time and CO2 emissions.
According to Posten, the water sample deliveries need to arrive at the laboratory quickly. With the help of drones, emergency missions can also be carried out. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Aviant drones were used, among other things, to transport Covid-19 samples from Røros to St. Olav’s hospital for analysis.
The purpose of the test is to learn, so that new technology can be adopted quickly as soon as the market and legislation are ready. Posten and Bring have established a separate department for future technology to explore technologies that make the group better prepared for the future. This department is leading the drone trial.
Sven Richard Magerøy Tønnessen, head of future technology at Posten, commented, “For the department, this project is a unique opportunity to learn more about the technology, as well as map out what significance it will have for the group in the coming years. By mapping the meaning, the aim is to be able to say more about the maturity, relevance and business opportunities of drone distribution. It will also be a goal to better understand where in the group the technology works best.”
Michael Vu, a business developer at Aviant, said, “The trial project we are now carrying out in collaboration with Posten’s department for future technology will give us unique insight into how we can offer end customers faster, more environmentally friendly and more flexible transport. The purpose of the project is to show how far we have come with drone technology. Together with Posten, we are constantly breaking the boundaries of what is possible to achieve with autonomous logistics.”
Kenneth Tjønndal Pettersen, press manager at Posten, said, “We test drone deliveries to gain experience. Together with good partners, we see that it can be relevant, especially when there are demanding geographical conditions and tight timelines. We also see that it can have a big upside for the environment. In this test, we cut the journey time by 34% and the CO2 footprint by 95%.
“We want to explore the possibilities of new technology and explore how Posten can in the future use drones and similar technology to deliver mail and parcels. Today, there are both technical and legal conditions that mean that drone deliveries cannot be carried out on a large scale. In this drone test, we were lucky enough that one of our customers wanted to take part, so we took the opportunity. It gives us very valuable experience.”
Click here to see the drone in action.