National postal operator Australia Post is working with drone technology developer ARI Labs to trial the delivery of small parcels using a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).
The closed-field trial is an important step in testing the new technology, which will potentially deliver small parcels to customers’ homes, allowing for faster transportation of time critical items such as medication. The trial will be sponsored using Australia Post’s A$20m (US$15.5m) innovation fund, which is aimed at developing e-commerce businesses.
Ahmed Fahour, managing director and CEO, Australia Post, said, “Australia Post has been adapting to changing customer needs and new technological advancements for over 200 years. This trial is another exciting example of how we’re looking to the future with emerging technologies to make life easier for our customers.
“Today’s online shopper expects to receive their purchase whenever and wherever they want. RPAs may be another way to help make our customers’ lives easier, and builds on our existing 24/7 Parcel Lockers and MyPost service.
“We’re excited to be the first major parcels and logistics company in Australia to test RPA technology for commercial delivery applications. We will put this innovative technology through its paces over the coming weeks and months to understand what it can deliver, how far it can travel, and ultimately, how our customers could receive a parcel.
“RPA technology will continue to evolve over the coming years and while we’re not sure what role it will play in our future, we do think there are opportunities for time-critical deliveries or where there are significant distances between the road and front door.”
To view a video of the early drone trials click here.
April 18, 2016