Swiss Post tests drone technology

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Postal operator Swiss Post and Swiss WorldCargo, a division of Swiss International Airlines, have partnered with drone manufacturer Matternet to launch a project testing the deployment of drones.

The three companies are researching the practical uses that drone technology could offer and the business case to support such a development. The possibilities range from internal logistics to the delivery of consignments over the last mile. The first tests involving drones are scheduled to take place in summer 2015 in Switzerland.

The primary aim of the pilot project is a proof of concept to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones.

The group will test a number of Matternet One drones, which have been exclusively designed for the transportation of small packages. Matternet One’s centrally-located payload makes it easy to load and unload, and its architecture makes it light and strong enough to transport one kilogram over a distance of up to 20 kilometers on a single battery charge. The drones are also capable of operating autonomously by following secure routes generated by Matternet’s proprietary cloud software.

Dieter Bambauer, head of PostLogistics, Swiss Post, said, “With drone technology, we are testing a possible means of transportation of the future. Swiss Post aims to always be in tune with customer needs.”

Oliver Evans, chief cargo officer, Swiss International Airlines, said, “As a specialist

and global leader in the transportation of high-value and care-intensive shipments, Swiss WorldCargo is keen

to explore any new technology which promises to increase reach, speed or reliability while at the same time reducing costs or environmental impact.

“Likewise, we are keen to explore new types of collaboration with partners in the supply chain, from technology partners like Matternet to service partners like Swiss Post.”

Andreas Raptopoulos, CEO, Matternet, said, “We are extremely excited to bring Matternet One to Switzerland, one of the most technologically-advanced countries in the world, and discover how this new transportation paradigm will bring tremendous value to our partners, their customers and the country at large.”

April 27, 2015

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Helen has worked for UKi Media & Events for nearly a decade. She joined the company as assistant editor on Passenger Terminal World and since progressed to become editor of five publications, covering everything from aviation, logistics and e-commerce to meteorology. She has a love for travel and property and has redeveloped three houses in three years. When she’s not editing magazines, she’s running around after her two boys and their partner in crime, Pete the pug.

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