The future is here: how autonomous drones will revolutionize postal sorting

ISTANBUL, Turkey (September 19, 2016) – Unmanned Life and Prime Competence announced, at the Postal Innovation Platform Conference, the place to be for all key actors in postal innovation, that they have started the pilot deployment of the world’s first autonomous drone-based sorting center for Post NL. It’s time for disruptive innovation in the postal and e-commerce logistics sector and the enthusiasm this proposal found in Istanbul represent another proof of that.

Drones are once again at the top of the news in e-commerce, but this time not for postal delivery. Unmanned Life and Prime Competence join forces to design for Post NL, one of the top 5 postal operators in the world, the world’s first autonomous drone-based postal sorting center. Prime Competence will provide overall program management, process auditing, technology assessments combined with Unmanned Life’s multi-patent pending innovative solution of a fully autonomous drone fleet managed through a SaaS platform over the cloud.

drone-autonomous-sorting-1024x463In a first for the industry, the Unmanned Life and Prime Competence joint initiative will introduce a combination of drones and autonomous ground vehicles to be used indoors for postal sorting. The Dutch and British companies are attacking the booming e-commerce market at its weakest point: making sure that sorting capacity and delivery go as fast as the consumer buys online. They expect that, at the end of the pilot initiative, it will be demonstrated that autonomous drones can rapidly and accurately perform the sorting at a higher throughput and lower cost per sorted unit than the current industry standard.

Eddy Thans, CEO Prime Competence comments “We are very excited about this project and its potential; for the first time in decades, technology facilitates a new way of approaching sorting that offers ultimate flexibility and scalability without the huge capital investment required by traditional sorting solutions – a factor that is holding back development in a rapidly changing business and consumer e-commerce environment. We commend Post NL for their commitment to innovation and proving the potential of autonomous sorting for the benefit of the broader postal industry. The program will involve several fields of technology, from sensors, vehicles, data transmission and software management platforms. We are pleased to have Unmanned Life as a key technology partner on this program; their autonomous drone fleet management technology represents a huge step forward in making this dream a reality”

The advantage of autonomous drones that are fully controlled by software alone is that there is no need to recruit, train and manage pilots. Software-controlled drones are safer, more reliable and offer an on-demand scalable solution at a much lower cost. “We are a Fourth Industrial revolution company building the next generation of industrial automation. Our solution has the advantage of being flexible, scalable and much cheaper than the usual conveyer belt used in the distribution centers. It can take tens of millions of euros and up to 3 years to build such centers. With Unmanned Life’s solution and Prime Competence’s recognized expertise in the sector, we are going to revolutionize the way sorting is done today” said Kumardev Chatterjee, CEO and Founder of Unmanned Life.

The two companies affirm you won’t need to be an Amazon to unlock the value of autonomous drone-based solutions in logistics. Autonomous sorting will be available to all postal operators and e-commerce players creating a level-playing-field for e-commerce companies.