Singapore Post (SingPost) announced today (October 8, 2015) that it has successfully completed a trial for using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to deliver last-mile mail and small parcels in an urban environment.
The UAV, or drone technology, was developed in partnership with Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), a government body established to maximize the use of technology to advance Singaporean businesses.
For the trial, SingPost used a Pixhawk Steadidrone UAV, which had been tailored by IDA Labs for the postal sector with enhanced safety features and tracking data communicated via a smartphone app. The successful flight took five minutes and carried a payload of a letter and a T-shirt across a distance of 1.24 miles between Lorong Halus and Pulau Ubin. The drone has the capability of carrying a payload of up to half a kilogram (1.1 lb), can fly at a height of up to 45m (148ft) and can travel a distance of 1.42 miles.
Jacqueline Poh, managing director, IDA, said, “The successful conclusion of this trial shows how SingPost is thinking outside the box to expand its traditional mail delivery model in innovative ways. Although it will be a while before it is viable for drone mail delivery to take off in Singapore, taking into consideration commercial and safety factors, this first step by SingPost and IDA demonstrates what Singapore is trying out with our Smart Nation vision to have the various parts of our ecosystem collaborate, experiment with new ways of doing things, and in the process, literally aim for the sky with new technology.”
Dr Wolfgang Baier, group CEO of SingPost, said, “SingPost is pioneering
e-commerce logistics across the Asia-Pacific and is building ecosystems to facilitate e-commerce for businesses as well as end consumers. We are seeing success in our digital transformation which did not happen overnight. Our success is made possible through collaborations with industry experts and our business partners. Now, we want to make innovation more accessible and bring more tangible benefits to our customers and consumers.”
Dr Bernard Leong, head of digital services, SingPost, said, “There is immense potential in UAV technology for last-mile mail and e-commerce delivery. As SingPost transforms into an e-commerce logistics enabler, we will continue to collaborate with industry leaders and chart new frontiers. Not only do we want to enable or accelerate e-commerce, we hope to contribute toward building Singapore into a Smart Nation, where technology improves the quality of lives. We seek continuous exploration to break new ground, innovate and harness technology to bring end-to-end solutions that matter to our customers.”
To watch a video by SingPost about the drone technology trial click here.
October 8, 2015