Ford demos self driving delivery vehicle concept at Mobile World Congress

BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 27, 2017 – For more than half a century, vans have played a key role in deliveries. Drones are a modern phenomenon. But the two could work hand in hand to improve mobility in urban areas in one example of Ford’s vision for the “City of Tomorrow”.

Self-driving vans could quickly and efficiently transport everything from groceries to urgently needed medical supplies on the ground, with drones potentially able to take to the air for the final leg of the journey to reach destinations inaccessible by car, such as high up in a tower block – or where parking would be difficult, impractical, or unsafe. Continue reading

Flirtey and 7-Eleven Complete First Month of Routine Commercial Drone Deliveries, Deliver 77

RENO, Nev., Dec. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Flirtey, the world’s leading drone delivery service, announced today they completed 77 autonomous drone deliveries to customer homes in the United States. Flirtey is the first drone delivery service to complete regular commercial deliveries to customer homes in the United States.

The deliveries are the result of Flirtey and 7-Eleven’s commercial collaboration, which kicked off in July with the world’s first autonomous drone delivery to a customer’s residence. Continue reading

OIG reports on public perception of delivery by drone

Drone_Delivery_in_the_US_900x360The national conversation about drone delivery began in December 2013 when Jeff Bezos told the world that Amazon was experimenting with drones as an alternative to traditional delivery methods. In a 60 Minutes interview, Mr. Bezos predicted that, although the technology was still 4 to 5 years away, someday the skies would be filled with an army of flying machines zipping back and forth between warehouses and people’s homes. The public reacted with astonishment, leaving some convinced that the idea represented the future of delivery, while others felt that the idea was simply a marketing stunt. Many were concerned about the implications of these airborne automatons. Continue reading

UPS Tests Drone For Urgent Delivery

UPS® (NYSE:UPS) announced today that it has begun testing the use of drones to make commercial deliveries of packages to remote or difficult-to-access locations, working together with drone-maker CyPhy Works.

Testing began on Thursday when the companies staged a mock delivery of urgently needed medicine from Beverly, Mass. to Children’s Island, which is about three miles off the Atlantic coast. The drone flight advances an investment made by The UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund in CyPhy to gather information about drone uses and capabilities. Continue reading

Matternet Partners with Mercedes-Benz to Create the Future of (Drone) Delivery

MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Matternet, the leading developer of autonomous drone logistics systems, today announced a strategic partnership with Mercedes-Benz Vans and a multimillion dollar investment in the company to create the future of delivery. Through the partnership, Matternet and Mercedes-Benz have joined forces to create an integrated delivery solution that will transform how people receive lightweight goods on demand. Matternet has also unveiled its second-generation drone, Matternet M2.

Autonomous drone systems hold the promise of vastly more efficient, faster and cheaper delivery. Today, Mercedes-Benz Vans unveiled its Vision Van, showcasing a new end-to-end platform for last-mile delivery, featuring a fully automated cargo management system and Matternet delivery drones. Matternet developed the technology that is integrated into the roof of the van, allowing for precision landing and automatic payload and battery exchange. Matternet’s cloud technology is integrated with Mercedes-Benz’s van routing software, allowing end-to-end control of the supply chain. The first project bringing this vision into reality is “Vans and Drones” (see video here).

Continue reading

Australia Post Drone Delivery Trial Takes Flight

Australia Post will be the first major parcels and logistics company in the country to trial new technology to deliver small parcels by Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), or ‘drone’, to provide customers with even more choice on how and when they receive their online shopping.

This closed-field trial is an important next step in testing the new technology which will potentially deliver small parcels safely and securely to customers’ homes, allowing for faster transportation of time critical items like medication.

Australia Post Managing Director and Group CEO Ahmed Fahour said this is just one of many innovations the organisation is exploring, with Australia’s eCommerce and online shopping sector experiencing double-digit growth over the past five years.

“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,” Mr Fahour said. Continue reading

New Qatar shipping service to deliver packages by drone

From Doha News:

Qatar’s state postal service has launched a new service that will allow shoppers to buy items online and get them delivered directly to their homes or to a “smart locker.”

Announcing the new “Connected by Qatar Post” service, the organization also said it is planning doorstep drone delivery for some packages.

The shop and ship service is similar to Dubai-based Aramex, though appears to be considerably more expensive.

The first phase of the new drone service should start in three months,QNA reported.

Source: New Qatar shipping service to deliver packages by drone – Doha News

Starship Technologies introduces delivery robots in UK

Starship Technologies, a company launched by the former co-founders of Skype, is announcing today that the UK will be the first major country to host trials of its revolutionary self-driving delivery robots, starting in Greenwich, London.

Throughout the next six months, the robots will be visiting towns and cities in all four nations of the UK, culminating with launch of pilot delivery services later this year.

concept-fullbleed1The six wheeled intelligent robot will make its debut in Greenwich after talks with the local authority led to a partnership with the firm, which means that Greenwich will be the first location in the UK to experience the revolutionary delivery system. First launched in November 2015, the robot is designed for local delivery of goods and groceries for consumers for under £1 per shipment. The robots use pavements like pedestrians, travelling at slow speeds and with zero emissions. The public introduction program aims to demonstrate how easily the friendly curbside robots can integrate into human life.

The UK has been chosen for this work because of the Government’s clear commitment to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles, making the country a world leader in this new and ground-breaking technology.

“Our robots are a totally new class of devices that will provide a combination of low cost and convenience with less congested streets and zero emissions,” said Ahti Heinla, CEO, Starship Technologies. “The robot has been in development for almost two years, and we’ve experienced unprecedented levels of interest and goodwill – so it’s great to now be taking the first step to rolling our little robot out for real. The robot has been very well-received by pedestrians in all of the interactions we’ve seen so far, so it’s very exciting to be officially introducing the robot to the British public.”

“I am delighted that The Royal Borough of Greenwich has been chosen as the first location in the UK to trial this revolutionary delivery system, and that Starship Technologies has chosen to base their UK offices in Greenwich” said Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. “This technology has the potential to transform the local delivery of goods and groceries. The trial complements the work being undertaken by the Royal Borough of Greenwich on smart city innovation – work that we believe will be significant for all cities in the future.”

Starship Technologies is planning to launch similar testing programmes in the United States in April and plans to unveil the first pilot services in cooperation with its service partners in the UK later this year.

Video: Google introduces its “self-flying” drone delivery vehicle

Google has released a video of its prototype “self-flying” delivery drone:

Project Wing is a Google[x] project that is developing a delivery system that uses self-flying vehicles. As part of our research, we built a vehicle and traveled to Queensland, Australia for some test flights. There, we successfully delivered a first aid kit, candy bars, dog treats, and water to a couple of Australian farmers. We’re only just beginning to develop the technology to make a safe delivery system possible, but we think that there’s tremendous potential to transport goods more quickly, safely and efficiently.